Beetle identification can be tricky! We've compiled this information on some of our most commonly reported pests and other large beetles found in Hawaiʻi. If you aren't sure what you have found, take a photo or video and report it to the CRB Response
Oriental Flower Beetle: OFB
Oriental flower beetle or OFB is one of the most common look-alikes of the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB). OFB are Asian scarab beetles that have been established on Oʻahu since 2002. Unlike CRB, OFB feed on overripe fruit, flower nectar, flower pollen, and sap from a variety of plants. They are a common widespread pest, with no control program. Although they seem to be a nuisance, their feeding does not appear to harm fruiting or flowering productivity, as they are opportunistic and will usually feed on fruit that has been injured (fallen or opened by birds). OFB is active during the day and cluster in larger groups around their feeding source (ripe fruit).
As adults, OFB reach ~1 inch in length; much smaller than a CRB which can be over 2 inches. They do not have a horn but instead have antennae on their small head capsule. OFB is a shiny metallic brown color with golden flecks that sparkle in the sunlight.
As larvae, OFB and CRB are difficult to distinguish. If you are having trouble, please reach out to us with the photo of the underside and a video of its crawling pattern. OFB will only reach ~2 inches in length, where CRB can be 3.5-4 inches in its 3rd larval instar (keep in mind that CRB may be ~2 inches at its 2nd larval instar). We look for a raster marking near their rear underside to identify OFB. OFB also crawl on their back (legs in the air) and curl into an "e" shape tucking their head into their abdomen when handled.
Black Dung Beetle: Copris spp.
At first glance, dung beetles can look similar to CRB in that they are solid black and sometimes have an apparent horn. Dung beetles are significantly smaller than CRB reaching about 1.5 cm in length and have a rigid wing case.
Although dung beetles are not native, they are beneficial and were intentionally introduced to Hawaiʻi for the ranching and farming industry. As dung feeders, they are important to our ecosystem and have never been recorded damaging ornamental plants or crops.
Queensland longhorn beetle: Acalolepta aesthetica
The Queensland longhorn beetle or QLB is a large invasive beetle established on the East side of Hawaiʻi Island. QLB is a major pest to tropical crops and should be reported immediately if found. For more information visit: https://www.biisc.org/qlb/