A model for the biological control of Oryctes rhinoceros (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) by means of pathogens.
A mathematical population model limited by density-dependent larval mortality and a baculovirus for Oryctes rhinoceros, a scarabaeid pest of coconut and oil palms, was developed. The rates of 6 different transmission pathways of the baculovirus were estimated and transmission from infected to susceptible feeding adults proved to be the dominant route. Numerical simulations showed that increasing fungus inundation rates result in substantial decreases in numbers of juvenile beetles. However, the fungus had no perceptible effect on economically important populations of uninfected feeding adults, and at high rates of application led to an amplification in population cycles and the eventual elimination of the baculovirus from the system.