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​​ Biological control of coconut rhinoceros beetle​


The coconut beetle Oryctes rhinoceros is a pest of coconut palm.  It causes significant damage to the trees thereby leading to a reducton in nut production.  It is difficult to use pesticides for its control on a large scale.  A virus, Baculovirus oryctes was introduced in 1970 to keep the pest population under control.  The virus affects the alimentary canal of both the larvae and the adults after ingesting the viral particles.

A culture of the virus is being maintained in the laboratory and is released regularly in coconut and  palm plantations to keep the pest population below economic threshold.