UOG researchers, Dr. Aubrey Moore and Roland Quitugua, in collaboration with Paul Bassler, Guam’s former Director of Agriculture, Dr. Russell Campbell, Guam’s former Territorial Entomologist, and Dr. Trevor Jackson, AgResearch New Zealand have published a journal article showing that the coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) which has invaded Guam is behaving differently to other CRB populations. They found that a significant proportion of CRB on Guam develop from egg to adult feeding on detritus captured in the crowns of coconut palms. The group suggests that this happens on Guam and not elsewhere because of the brown treesnake has removed most predators such as rats and insectivorous birds.
More recently, it has been shown that the Guam CRB population is genetically different to other populations of this species and is resistant to an insect virus which is used as a biological control agent to prevent damage elsewhere. Because of these differences, entomologists now classify the Guam super beetle as a new biotype: CRB-Guam.