The Coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), Oryctes rhinoceros (Linn) is a cosmopolitan pest of palms including coconut and oil palm. CRB invaded many Pacific islands in the early 20th century through human-mediated dispersal (Reil et al., 2018) and was first recorded in PNG in 1942 (Catley, 1969). The current invasive pest which is of concern is in fact a new biotype known as CRB Guam (CRB-G) based on its initial discovery in Guam in 2007. However, there are no known phenotypic differences between the individuals from Samoan/Pacific biotype (CRB-S/P) and the individuals from CRB-G biotype; the 2 biotypes can be distinguished only through molecular analysis.
The CRB-G biotype poses an imminent threat to Pacific livelihoods and economies reliant on coconuts; it can be potentially a threat to oil palm and other palms (especially ornamental) species. This biotype is highly invasive and damaging compared to CRB-S/P with the ability to cause significant damage (Marshall et al 2017) and to rapidly adapt to its environment.