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Native Scarab Beetles in Hawaiʻi

In targeting an invasive species it's easy to forget about the native ones; or worse, cause unintentional harm to them. Thankfully, there are no native species that look similar to the coconut rhinoceros beetle. Before getting rid of an insect, take the time to identify it. You might be surprised by what you find!

Scarab beetles are a common name used to classify chafers, hide beetles, dung beetles, stag beetles, and rhino beetles. Coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) are Scarabaeoidea in the family Scarabaeidae. There are no native cousins of the same family, but the native stag beetles of the family Lucanidae are important to mention. These flightless, endemic beetles are known from Kauaʻi and are extremely rare. Native Hawaiian stag beetles, like many endemic species, suffer from habitat loss and predation or competition from introduced species.

There are two native longhorn beetles to Hawaiʻi. Aegolipton reflexum (family Cerambycidae), although not visually similar to CRB, is of a similar size and color and could be mistaken for it at a glance. Hawaiiandra puncticeps is another large endemic longhorn beetle. This beetle more closely resembles our native stag beetles.

For more information about native scarab beetles the ID Tools website supported by USDA is a great resource.

Apterocyclus honoluluensis (Kauaʻi flightless stag beetle) male; photo by E.L. Engasser

Dunlap, Joshua B., Mary Liz Jameson, Emmy L. Engasser, Paul E. Skelley, Amanda J. Redford. 2015. Scarab and Stag Beetles of Hawaii and the Pacific. USDA APHIS Identification Technology Program (ITP). Fort Collins, CO. [Oct. 8, 2021] <>


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