Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2008
Publication Date: 3/1/2009
Citation: Mankin, R.W., Moore, A., Samson, P.R., Chandler, K.J. 2009. Acoustic characteristics of Dynastid beetle stridulations. Florida Entomologist. 92:124-133. Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, the University of Guam, and BSES Limited of Australia, collected and analyzed sounds produced by the coconut rhinoceros beetle in palm trees in Guam. The adults of this beetle cause great economic damage and can kill coconut palms. They are difficult to find visually because they attack the tops of the trees. This study demonstrated, however, that their movement and feeding and scraping sounds can be detected over long distances in a tree, and acoustic sensors could be used to detect hidden infestations. The sounds can be helpful to discriminate the beetle sounds from background noise. Other related beetles in Australia produce similar sounds. These results may be helpful in development of new methods to identify infested trees in quarantined areas. The sounds also are of interest in studies of insect communication.
Technical Abstract: Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae) causes economically important damage to ornamental and commercial coconut palm trees in the western Pacific region that could be mitigated significantly by early detection and treatment. Adults are difficult to detect visually, however, because they attack the crowns of the trees and feed internally before mating and dispersing to new hosts. This species is an ideal candidate for acoustic detection, because the adults are large, active borers, and partly because they produce stridulations during courtship and mating that have distinct, easily recognized temporal and amplitude patterns. Larvae and pupae also produce stridulations. To assist in development of new detection methods, acoustic characteristics of the adult and larval stridulations have been quantified and compared with stridulations produced by larvae of other dynastids recorded in the western Pacific region are described for comparison.