Protaetia orientalis in Hawaii
I’m not sure how many people are aware of it, but Protaetia orientalis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) – the oriental flower beetle, is established in Hawaii. I occasionally see it buzzing around the Pearl Harbor area. In flight it looks a lot like a female carpenter bee. I actually set out some traps for this beetle a couple of years ago on base (Makalapa compound) – perhaps I’ll write about that another day – but I didn’t have a lot of success. I also have some experience with this little guy on Guam.
For now I’ll just post some pics from an encounter in 2002. This was before my time with Navy and involves my predecessor and mentor, Stan Higa. The golf course superintendent at Mamala Bay (Hickam AFB) asked Stan to go out and look at an African tulip tree on the 9th hole that was infested with a large scarab beetle. Stan checked it out on Nov 6, 2002, took some pictures, and collected some specimens. Bernar Kumashiro at HDOA identified the beetle as Protaetia orientalis. I’m not exactly sure what happened after that, but I think it was determined that the infestation was limited to that particular tree and treatment they didn’t find any more beetles in the area. Not sure how much monitoring they did in the area or for how long. I think I remember Bernar saying that there are other records of this species being found in Hawaii. Anyway, below are the pictures that Stan took of this particular incident.