A pest that stunts the development, and can ultimately destroy coconut and oil palms is the Coconut Rhinoceros beetle (Orcytes rhinoceros). Easily recognised by its prominent horn and black colouring, this beetle is widespread in tropical and subtropical areas, mainly in Asia and Oceania. It is not found in Australia or the mainland United States, but is found in Hawaii, where efforts are underway to eradicate it.
The beetle bores into the crownshaft area of the palms. Bore holes are a giveaway.
The damage that it does to crops and local horticultural industries is significant, so if you find evidence of a Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle in your garden, you should contact your local government agriculture agency. You can read more about the beetle here, and see video about Hawaii’s efforts to eradicate it here.
Terrific photo by Len Worthington at Flickr.