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Oryctes rhinoceros

Oryctes rhinoceros
Photo Information
Copyright: Haraprasan Nayak (haraprasan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1570 W: 101 N: 5421] (20403)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-09
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix E5600
Exposure: f/5.9, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-04-21 5:12
Viewed: 6023
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This widespread rhino beetle hails from Asia and can cause problems with palm trees. In captivity the larvae feed on rotten compost and wood and will not feed on any but the most rotted wood. Female imagoes are very difficult to distinguish from males since both sexes have horns, but the males do not have such large amounts of sensory hairs at the end of the abdomen and the bottom of the pygidium points towards the anterior rather than the posterior.

Taxonomic name: Oryctes rhinoceros (Linnaeus)
Synonyms: Oryctes stentor Castelnau, 1840, Scarabaeus rhinoceros Linnaeus
Common names: Asiatic rhinoceros beetle, black beetle, coconut black beetle, coconut palm rhinoceros beetle, coconut rhinoceros beetle (English), date palm beetle, dung beetle, escarabajo rinoceronte Asiático (Spanish), fruit stalk borer, Indischer Nashornkäfer (Dutch), Indischer Nashornkäfer (German), klappertor (Dutch), kumbang badak (Indonesia), kumbang tanduk (Indonesia), oryctes du cocotier (French), Palmen-Nashornkaefer (German), rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros du cocotier (French)
Organism type: insect

Oryctes rhinoceros is one of the most serious pests of the coconut palm. Though, for the most part, coconut palms are considered agricultural crops, this beetle also has a record of damage, wherever it has become established in the tropics, to native palm trees and native Pandanus.

Imagos of Oryctes rhinoceros are large 30-57mm long and 14-21 mm breadth, black or reddish black in colour, stout and possesses a characteristic cephalic horn which is larger in males. The pygedium is densely clothed with reddish brown hairs on the ventral surface in the female (Nirula, et. al., 1952) a feature which helps in distinguishing it from the male.
Occurs in:
agricultural areas, natural forests

Habitat description
Thought to be native to the southern Asiatic region, the coconut rhinoceros beetle was introduced throughout the Pacific primarily as a result of the increased sea traffic during World War II (Nishida & Evenhuis, 2000). The beetle breeds in dead standing coconut palms killed by pest /disease/ lightning, decaying organic materials like compost and sawdust heaps. (Bedford, 1980). Decaying pandanus trunk in Palau (Gressitt, 1953) and heaps of decaying cocoa pod shells in New Ireland (Bedford, 1976a) are also reported as breeding sites. In India (Kurian and Pillai, 1964; Nirula, et al. 1952) and Mauritius (Monty, 1978) heaps of cattle-dung were the most important breeding sites, in Burma dead coconut stems, heaps of rotting paddy straw and farm yard manure were most important (Ghosh, 1923). Floating logs containing larvae in tunnels might spread the pest to new areas (Bedford, 1980).

Rhino beetles could be considered helpful because they are important in recycling plant material back into the ecosystem. On only a few rare occasions has a species reached pest proportions, and this has usually happened in sugar cane fields or palm plantations that have been recently carved out of the jungle. In this case, humans have entered the home habitat of the beetles and upset the balance of things. You might also consider rhino beetles to be extremely beneficial because of aesthetics: they are all so beautiful.

The best protection they have from predators is their usually large size combined with their activity being at night. During the day, they are hiding under logs or in vegetation and invisible from the few predators big enough to want to eat them. Surprisingly, the horn of the male is not used for protection but rather for the occasional battle with another male over a feeding site. The victorious male with the feeding site can then often attract a mate; the females have no horns. It's sorta like the guy in the school lunchroom with the best lunch can attract the prettiest girl; she does not really care what you look like but is more interested in your food. This is some very basic biology for many vertebrate animals (including humans): males having the most resources are often the ones chosen by females. These resources can take many forms: food, territory, ability to care for young, or brains; big antlers, large horns, or being handsome usually rate second.

Thanks a lot for viewing.

eqshannon, jusninasirun, jaycee, Amadeo, boreocypriensis, nglen, Jamesp, matatur, parthasarathi, gannu, montivipera, LordPotty has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Haraprasan,

Beautiful insect that i never have been seeing.
Good of sharpness and detail with beautiful colors.

Regards Gert

does a Rhino Beetle get a cold and does it have a nose. because if it did, the name would redundantly be called Rhino-Rhinovirus:-) Gee it is early in the morning and my mind alredy races...

A very sharp image and certainly one with notes to use as ID. Very nicely done HS!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-04-21 6:33]

Hello Haraprasan,
what a great specimen you found here! Some lovely detail and colours with excellent DOF too, well done!

Hello Haraprasan. Excellent shot at this bug in full frame. Superb sharpness and detail in good exposure - like a real rhino. Thanks for sharing and best regards. Jusni

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-21 9:46]

Hi Haraprasan,

These beetles really do resemble rhinos - amazing. As in all your captures the details and textures are remarkable. I love his eye! Wonderful colors with the blue sheen.


  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-04-21 10:07]

Hola Haraprasan, un excelente detalle en esta fotografia con buen color, luz y definición. Un saludo

Hi my beloved friend Haraprasan,
Another superb close-up capture of an interesting insect like Rhinoceros! All are excellent as usual.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-04-21 13:43]

Hi Haraprasan. you have captured a fine close up of this beetle. You picture shows all the detail of the shell and its legs. you have used the light well. good natural colours. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-21 23:00]

Hi Haraprasan,
Wonderful profile shot with very impressive sharpness and clarity. Good use of flash lighting brings out the minute details and I like its rhino like head. Excellent low POV to portray it and very nicely composed. Kudos.

Well, this one really looks like its namesake Haraprasan, a beautiful macro shot from a lateral viewpoint in fine exposure and great definition, my friend. TFS indeed!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-04-22 2:50]

Hi Hara,very interesting specie and wonderfull quality of pic,very very very perfect!!!My best compliments for the note too,thanks for share,Luciano

What a rhino! well taken.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-04-22 23:30]

Hello HP, It looks like that the insect is actually holding a pipe.The composition is perfect and superb. Ganesh

Splendid shot of this beetle, TFS.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-29 8:24]

Hello Haraprasan

Well placed in the frame.
The focus is sharp with very good details.
Very good texture is seen on this large beetle.
Lovely natural colours.


Namaste Hara,
A truly imp[ressive species indeed.
When I lived on Niue Island (near Tonga)as a child,the only contact with the island was by ship,but the boats had to moor way offshore so that Rhino beetles couldn't fly to land at night.
They were considered a risk to the copra exports of the island.
As far as I know,Niue still has no Rhino beetles.

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