Biosecurity preps virus for beetle eradication

A male and female Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.

Biosecurity Solomon Islands is introducing two virus to tackle the Coconut Rhinoceros beetle epidemic severely damaging the coconuts around the country.
Chief Bio-Security officer Mr Max Kulubalona says the two ‘Oryctes Nudivirus’ called the ‘V23B’ and ‘DUG42’ virus are now being tested in their lab.

Mr Kulubalona said initially, a total of 10 viruses were brought in from New Zealand, which only two were found to be very successful in killing the dangerous beetle.

He said although the results were promising, more test results were needed to conclude the safety and success rate of the virus against the pest.

Mr Kulubalona also added, a team was now being trained by experts on how to manage and release the virus.

“Two tests have already been carried out, and one more test is coming up to to confirm which virus works better,” he said.

“In comparison one seems to be producing better results than the other one, but we hope the last test will give us the result to confirm if the virus will really work.”

Chief Bio-Security officer Mr Max Kulubalona inspecting the beetles.

By: Lowen Sei.



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