Fuller's rose-beetle (Aramigus fulleri Horn.)


Material Information

Fuller's rose-beetle (Aramigus fulleri Horn.)
Series Title:
Hawaii Agriculture Experiment Station. Press bulletin
Physical Description:
8 p. : illus. ; 24 cm.
Van Dine, Delos L
Paradise of the Pacific Print
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Subjects / Keywords:
Rose-beetle   ( lcsh )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
By D.L. Van Dine.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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aleph - 029613597
oclc - 28176631
lccn - agr06000606
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ail Agricultural Experiment Station,



S. (Aramigus /ulleri Horn.)

BY D. L. VAN DINE, cli
S Entomologist, Hawaii Experiment Station, United '9tsev,,
Department of Agriculture.

?:; -Fuller's rose beetle is the common name of an injurious
lt .,beetle known in the Hawaiian Islands as the "Maui" or "Olinda
S beetle." It is referred to on the Island of Maui as the "Olinda
bu, anal.in one district on the Island of Hawaii as the "wire-
fencebu'" because of its occurrence on the strands of wire in
.immense numbers. The insects had collected on the fence from
Sthe neighboring guava, Hilo grass and "oi" and were using the
S-wires, the writer infers, as an easy means of migration since
they are incapable of flight. The insect was first described by
r,. ,Geo. H. Horn in 1876 under the name Aramigus fldleri
S from specimens referred to him by Mr. A. S. Fuller. The spec-
imeins were from Montana and Dr. Horn records the species
" .-k as occurring from New Jersey to Montana at that time.1
S Mr. F. H. Chittenden describes the adult beetle as follows:
It measures .from a quarter to nearly three-eighths of an inch in
Length, and is of the form shown in figure at c and d. (See figure 1.)
The snout is quite short and scarred at the sides of the mandibles
(jaws), The head is white, and the abdomen is ovoid. The color is
dark dirty brown, and the entire body, including the legs, is lightly cov-
ered with gray or pale-brown scales. On each side of the elytra (wing
covers) there is a whitish diagonal line.2
In the figure are shown, besides the views of the adult, the

', The Rhynchophora of America North of Mexico. Pro. Am. Phil.
.. o Soc. Vol. XV. 1876, pp. 94, 95.
S2Bulletin 27 (n. s.), Bureau of Ento De art
I ment of Agriculture, 1901.
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appearance of the eggs at c, the larva or young at a and the pupa

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IDr. C. V .1iYy in his report as entomologist of the United
? Oip: tr0Jtates plepartmntit of Agriculture for 1878 says in regard to
\ the life-cycle-'ef'this beetle:
'e The parent beetles, like most other snout-beetles, live for a consid-
Y' frnable tinle, as I have kept them in confinement for nearly
it 'l;ree rnonthrs- They are nocturnal in habit, being quite active and feed-
ing only after dusk. They shun the light during day-time and hide
under the leaves or cling tightly to the branches or in some fork near
the base of the plant, always in such position as not easily to be ob-
served. They drop to the ground, draw up their legs, and "play 'pos-
sum," remaining motionless for some time and looking very much like
a small lump of dry earth, the color adding greatly to the resemblance.
This habit of simulating death upon disturbance is common to many
other insects of this family. They feed upon the leaves, but do more
injury by severing them than by the amount of foliage consumed.
The eggs are laid in flattened batches consisting of several contigu-
ous rows and each batch containing from 10 to 60. The individual egg
is smooth, yellow, ovoid, and about 1 mm. in length. The female shows
a confirmed habit of secreting her eggs, which are thrust between the
loose bark and the stem, especially at the base just above the ground.
In the 20-odd batches which I have examined they have invariably
been thrust either between the loose bark as above described, or into
any other crevice that could be found; as, for instance, that formed by
some loose paper around the edge of the bell-glass in which some of
my experiments were made. More rarely they are laid between the
earth and the main stem just at the surface of the ground. The eggs
are so firmly glued together and to the place of deposit that they are
not easily seen and are with extreme difficulty detached.
These eggs require about a month to hatch, and the new-born larva,
which is of a pale yellowish color, with light brown mouth-parts, is
quite active, and immediately burrows into the ground, ant acquires
very soon after a bluish hue. Just how long this larva requires to
attain full growth I have not been able to ascertain, but, in all proba-
bility, it remains at least one month, and probably several more, in the
ground, where the pupa state is finally assumed.3
Prof. Koebele in his "Notes on the Insects Affecting the Koa

3Report of the Entomologist, Annual Report of the Commissioner of
Agriculture for the year 1878, United States Department of Agriculture,
Washington, 1879.
is soot, yelow ovid, nd bou 1 rm. n legth Th femle how
a cnfimedhabt o screingheregg, wic ar thustbetee the

Trees at Haiku Forest on Maui" says in regard to the life-
We have found its larvae under stones at Olinda, four years since,
and collected large numbers of the same in all stages on this trip, feed-
ing on the roots of Hilo grass. We have obtained its eggs in confine-
ment, deposited in clusters of some seventy-five, of a light yellow color
from three-fourths to one mm. long and half as wide. At the office we
find that large numbers of young larvae issue from galls produced by
the Tortricid larvae. Here the eggs are inserted anywhere conveniently
where a hole is present, and are imbedded in irregular masses, partly
covered by excremental remains. We should think that they are also
found under the bark of trees where the beetles feed.4


Mr. Chittenden in his article above referred to says that-
Prior to the year 1874 this species does not appear to have been rec-
ognized; in short, its technical description was not published until the
Centennial year. At about that time and soon afterwards, as well as
at intervals later, it has attracted considerable attention on account of
its ravages on roses, camellias, geraniums, and other ornamental plants
in different portions of the country, particularly in the Eastern States,
and more especially in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
During the last two years this species has been troublesome to roses
and carnations, especially in portions of New York and Wisconsin, and
in lemon groves in California as well as in Hawaii.
This insect is destructive in both of its active stages, doing most
damage as a larva, when it lives in the soil and feeds upon the roots
of its food plants, the beetle practically confining itself to the foliage,
flowers, and buds of the plants which it attacks. Although preemi-
nently a greenhouse pest in California, particularly in the southern
portion, groves of orange and lemon as well as other trees sometimes
suffer much injury.
Recently the beetle has been recorded as seriously injuring
strawberries in the field in Southern California. Mr. Fdk.
Maskew of Long Beach, Cal., in notes on the insect during the
season of 1904,5 records it as injurious to strawberries, black-
berries and logan berries, as well as various ornamental plants
and apples. The injury was accomplished by the larvae feeding

4Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Territory
of Hawaii, for the year ending December 31, 1900, Honolulu, 1901.
pp 63, 64.
5Bulletin 54, Bureau of Entomology, U. S. Department of Agriculture,
1905, pp. 70, 71.


beneath the surface of the soil, with the exception that the foliage 1
of certain of the plants, and the apple itself, were attacked by
the beetle. The apples were injured by the adult eating through
the stem, causing the immature fruit to fall. In regard to the
life-history of the insect, Mr. Maskew says: "August 19 a
beetle was observed in the act of ovipositing. The eggs, 26 in
number, were laid in an irregular mass upon the upper surface
of the foliage of a crested wattle (Albizzia lophantha), a potted
plant. The foliage was about 5 feet above the ground, and above
the egg mass it was drawn together and fastened by a webby
substance. These eggs, placed in a phial and carried in the
pocket, hatched August 24. Many egg masses were subse-
quently found and hatched out."


Fuller's rose beetle is first recorded from the Islands by Prof.
A. Koebele, who mentions the insect as an undetermined spe-
cies in his report to the Provisional Government of the Hawaii-
an Islands in 1894. He writes:
On the Island of Maui a snout-beetle, Otiorhynchid, is eating the
leaves of many plants, shrubs and trees. I would recommend to spray
the affected plants with Paris green, in the proportion of one pound of
this to about two hundred gallons of water. A little soap added to the
solution will keep the poison on the foliage a much longer time.6
Mr. R. C. L. Perkins describes the beetle as a new species in
Fauna Hawaiiensis under the name Pantomnorus olindae.7 Mr.
Perkins says in regard to its distribution: "This species is found
in Honolulu, and is sometimes very abundant at Makawao and
Olinda, Maui, and is found as high up as 5,000 ft. on Halea-
Concerning its occurrence in \Hawaii, Mr. Chittenden has the
During February, 1901, we received specimens of this species from
Mr. Albert Koebele, at present stationed at Honolulu, H. I., with notes

6Report of Entomologist, Biennial Rep. of the Minister of the Int.,
Prov. Govt. of the Haw. Isl. 1894, p. 101.
7Fauna Hawaiiensis, Vol. II, Part III, 1900, pp. 130, 131.


upon its habits. These specimens have been compared with authenti-
cally determined Aramigus fulleri by the writer, as well as by Mr.
Schwarz and Mr. Charles Fuchs, and there is no doubt of their iden-
tity. It seems that the species is known in Hawaii as the Olinda bug,
and has been described by Mr. R. C. L. Perkins as Pandamorus olindae.
Some notes are furnished by Mr. Koebele, which bear upon the insect's
life economy. Its presence has been frequently noticed upon trees as
well as upon Hilo grass. Many trees of Java plum recently planted
have been seen by Mr. Koebele with every leaf eaten off, and some have
died from the effects of the beetle and Hilo grass combined. The insect
appears to be most numerous along the border of forests, and is found
from the seashore as high up as 5,000 feet elevation. Seven years prior
to the date of writing the beetle was seen from Paia, where it was de-
structive to roses and garden plants generally. Our correspondent be-
lieves that it must have been present on the Islands long before it be-
came prominent as a pest, and he as well as Mr. Schwarz, the writer,
and some others are inclined to the belief that it is an introduction
from Mexico-Mr. Koebele believes probably from Acapulco, but does
not state reasons.
Larvae have been found under stones, and in large numbers, also, in
galls produced by Tortricidae.
In a list of the injurious and beneficial insects of the Ha-
waiian Islands, Mr. Perkins records the beetle with the follow-
ing note:
Introduced within the last twenty years probably, since it was not
obtained by Mr. Blackburn, who collected at Olinda. It is well known
on Maui as the Olinda bug and in the United States as "Fuller's rose-
beetle." It is injurious to the koa and other trees and plants on Maui.
It has of late years been carried to Hawaii, where in certain localities
it rivals the Japanese beetle in consumption of foliage. It has no nat-
ural enemies in this country.8
The writer in his report for 1904 records this beetle as an
injurious species affecting corn on the Island of MAaui and irish
potatoes and sugar cane on the Island of Hawaii, and as a
serious pest of horticultural plants generally.9


During July, 1902, this beetle was collected by the writer at
Makawao, Island of Maui, from newly planted forest trees. It

8Report of the Governor of the Territory of Hawaii, 1902, p. 32.
9Annual Report of the Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, 1904,
Annual Report of the Office of Experiment Stations, United States De-
partment of Agriculture, Washington, 1905, pp. 375 and 377.

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had entirely denuded imported beech, birch, ash and maple
trees of their foliage and these trees subsequently died.
In August, 1903, the beetle was received from Kamuela (Wai-
mea), Island of Hawaii, and reported as extremely injurious
to red-gum, blue-gum, Java plum, Acacias and Ohia.
On August 27, 1903, specimens were received from Maka-
wao, Maui, and reported as feeding upon trees and shrubs in
dooryards and corn in the field.
In November of the same year the writer observed the spe-
cies in the Kohala District, Island of Hawaii, feeding upon
Ohia in the Kohala forest and upon irish potatoes, Alligator
pear (Persia gratissima), iron-wood (Casurina sp.), Monterey
cypress and blue-gum in the Kohala homestead lands.
During December, 1903, it was observed by the writer in the
Hamakua District, Island of Hawaii, at Kukuihaele and Ho-
nokaa on sugar cane and was very abundant, likewise, on the
"oi" (Verbena sp.) and guava bordering the cane fields, from
which plants it undoubtedly invaded the fields.
This last year the beetle has been received from Puuwaawaa,
Kona, Island of Hawaii, where it was injuring Citrus trees,
and from Pohakea, District of Hamakua, where it was noticed
for the first time. The specimens in the latter place were col-
lected from guava. It has also been reported from Pahala, Kau,
and Tantalus, Island of Oahu.

Prof. J. H. Comstock in his report as Entomologist of the
United States Department of Agriculture for 1879 says: "A
wire-worm or click-beetle larva was found preying upon the
larvae of this beetle in our breeding cages. We did not succeed
in rearing the larva to the perfect state, but believe it to be the
larva of Drasterius amabilis Lec."'0
Mr. Chittenden says under this head:
Toads are frequently found in greenhouses, and sometimes are pur-

0lReport of the Commissioner of Agriculture, U. S. Department of
Agriculture, for the year 1879, Washington, 1880, p. 251.

posely put in such places to prey upon destructive insects. They are
known to feed upon insects related to this rose beetle, and probably
feed upon the species in question.
Prof. Koebele in his report on Koa insects above referred to
The indigenous Carabid beetles on higher elevations must destroy
many of the larvae.
Insectivorous birds evidently feed largely upon the beetles. We
found excrements of the mynah bird consisting entirely of the remains
of these beetles. Quails are considered as excellent birds to destroy
such insects. Fowls should keep the surroundings of houses free of
them. Probably some 90 per cent. of the food of the mongoose consists
of insects, roaches, crickets, grasshoppers and centipedes, and, from ex-
amination made, he also feeds upon the "Olinda bug."
Since'the larvae in feeding on the roots of the plants beneath
the surface of the soil, are equally and sometimes more destruct-
ive than the beetles in feeding on the foliage, the soil about
infested plants should be treated with carbon bisulphide. The
fumes of this substance are very penetrating and very poison-
ous. It is, likewise, very explosive and no fire of any sort, such
as a lighted cigar, for example, should be allowed in the vicin-
ity while using it. The soil is treated by first making several
holes about the plant in the loose soil with a sharp round stick
(a sharpened broom-handle will do nicely) and then pouring
into each hole about one-half ounce of the carbon bisulphide and
stopping the hole immediately with some earth, packing it down
firmly with the foot. Fortunately the adult beetle has not the
power of flight. For this reason, trees and ornamental plants
can be protected by first picking the beetles from the plants and
dropping them into a bucket of water having coal-oil on the
surface, or by jarring the beetles from the plants, and then
wrapping the stem or trunk with cotton bands over which it will
be difficult for the insects to crawl. In greenhouses, where the
greatest injury is done by this beetle on the Mainland, the insect
is controlled by picking the adults from the plants, or treating
the roots of infested plants with carbon bisulphide, applied by
means of a metal syringe, and "the use of tobacco waste in lib-


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eral quantities about the roots offthe plats i idii
acts both as anf insecticide and a 'rtili" ,
For this and other leaf-feeding .lte:. ti'i.wa
recommending spraying the foliage t i rsenate of
The advantages of this poison over .Parm ~i are that it
be used in liberal quantities without .iL..'.g th.e
that it is white in color and thus .is easily en. akima
spraying possible; and that it is quite adhesive, not bei
washed away by the frequent rains. Full directid"B 'i o
and applying this insecticide are given in B lletin
Station. Those who-do not.care to, prepare the~ ah e
ture can obtain an Arsenate of Lead in paste frVA
immediate use, on the market in Honolulu. Thi6 mania
product has been tested and found entirely saii' actiiE .

I ,, '


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Fig. l.-Puher's rose beetle, Aramigus futleri :-a larva; b, pa '
c, outline of side.view of adult; d, same, upper 61 dorsal view, the s1nkll
.f; g and h, views of head of larvae, enlarged, (from kiley.) j" *
Se i '. ".i

HONOIULU, T. H., October 19, 1905.



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