The rhino beetle has surfaced on Oahu. They're ugly to look at, and what they do to palm trees is even uglier.
The bug can kill almost any kind of tree, but Hawaii might have a way to beat the beetle.
The rhino beetles first appeared on Guam about six years ago, and in that time the beetle destroyed many coconut trees there.
Also in that time, experts have been able to do a lot of research, and they've flown to Oahu to help make sure our state doesn't suffer their same fate.
Roland Quitugua came from Guam where he studied the insects’ behavior and has seen firsthand the uphill battle against this pest.
"The problem is that when enough beetles attack and feed on the crown of the tree, the tree will then die over time. As that crown falls off, that dead standing coconut stump now becomes a breeding site, a favored breeding site for the rhinoceros beetle,” said Quitugua.
The beetles first turned up about a month ago in coconut trees at Joint-Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.
The Department of Agriculture is still working to figure out how they got here.
The team from Guam went out Monday to show what to look for, how to control the population and also to help come up with a plan against this pest.
"It was very beneficial going out with them today because it’s given us what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong and what we just don’t know,” said Darcy Oishi, from the Department of Agriculture.
Since the first discovery last month, more coconut beetles have turned up outside the military base. But the Department of Agriculture says the beetles have been contained so far within a two-mile radius.
With the help of these experts, Department of Agriculture experts hope to keep it that way.
“You guys are going to have traps that are at least ten times better than what we started with, and we’ve even improved from that," said Quitugua.
The Department of Agriculture needs the public’s help in spotting these beetles. If you come across them you're asked to call 643-7378.
If the beetles have been on a certain coconut tree you'll notice holes bored through the stems of its leaves, and the leaves will look as if they have "V" shapes cut out of them.