4c930eafbaebf Guam coll. Frank San Agustin 15-SEP-2010 ARANEIDAE Neoscona theisi det. A. Moore 17-SEP-2010
The type locality for this species is Guam. However, it is widespread throughout the Pacific and beyond.
On September 16, USDA APHIS hosted an appreciation luncheon for collaborators and supporters of the Guam Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Project and plant pest quarantine operations of the Guam Plant Inspection Facility. Aubrey Moore gave a short report on the status of the rhino beetle and his notes are attached as a PDF. Senator Tina Muna-Barnes of the Guam Legislature attended the luncheon and talked about the rhino beetle project on Ray Gibson's K57 talk show the following morning.
The 30th Guam Legislature has passed a Bill 439 appropriating funding to support the Guam Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Eradication Project:
"Section 9. Appropriation to the University of Guam. The sum of Three Hundred Sixty-five Thousand Three Hundred Sixty-five Dollars ($365,365) is hereby appropriated from the Tourist Attraction Fund to the University of Guam for the FY 2011 operations of the Rhinoceros Beetle Program. Notwithstanding the general provisions of Title 11 GCA §30107.1 and this Act, this Appropriation shall continue to be available until expended and is not subject to transfer or use for any other purpose."
The entire bill is available online at:
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has submitted a "Biological Opinion" to the Department of Defense concerning the proposed Guam military buildup. See attached pdf.
I was surprised to find that this B.O. does not include discussion of probable impacts to the Mariana eight-spot butterfly, Hypolimnas octocula, which is listed by USFWS as a candidate for the national invasive species list. These impacts were discussed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Final Environmental Impact Statement. For more information, see http://guaminsects.net/anr/content/feis-responses-comments-impact-marian....
Only adult rhino beetles are usually found in the crowns of coconut palms. However, on Guam we find all life stages (eggs, grubs, pupae, and adults) living in detritus captured in the crowns of mature palms. We think this unusual behavior is not common elsewhere because rats like to live in the tops of coconut palms and they like to eat grubs. Rats are almost absent on Guam because of predation by brown treesnakes, which also like to inhabit coconut crowns.
For more information, see:
Dan Vice, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, has kindly forwarded me a spider alert, put out by U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), following interception of spiders in a shipment of granite stone arriving at Hilo from China.
The CBP alert states:
"On July 28, 2010 CBP agriculture specialists were examining a container of granite stone from China, destined for Hawaii Zip code 96740, and encountered a sizable spider infestation. Since spiders are not a quarantine pest regulated by PPQ, specimens were submitted to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture."
"They were identified as belonging to the Theridiidae family - a highly venomous Widow family not known to occur in the Hawaiian Islands and hence, a state actionable pest."
The container and cargo were fumigated under supervision of Hawaii Department of Agriculture."
Definitely not a coconut rhinoceros beetle, for sure. But it is a rhino beetle (Family Dynastinae). Follow this link to see the European response to a rhino beetle in Austria (feed it mandarin and put a little party hat on it).
It all started with a post to BodyBuilding.com entitled:
Massive rhino beetle landed outside, what should I do?
Please see attached PDF.
Comments on potential impact to the Mariana Eight-spot Butterfly, an endangered species living on "Route 15 Lands" proposed to be used for firing ranges were submitted following release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and were posted here.
Responses to these comments have been returned as part of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Despite the fact that many acres of critical habitat will be destroyed, DoD maintains that "impacts are expected to be less than significant". Click here to see comments and responses.
An analysis of the responses and a rebuttal to some of them can be found here. This rebuttal was emailed to JGPO on August 23, 2010 with a follow up by snail mail on August 28.
The air above Mangilao is full of tiny flying insects. These are adults of the acacia whitefly (Trialeurodes acaciae), a relatively new invasive species, first detected on Guam in 2007. Although the adults can be seen resting on many different kinds of plants they do no damage. Immatures feed primarily a pest of tangan-tangan (Lucaena leucocephala). The cause of the current outbreak is unknown but possibly related to the rainy weather.