The larval stages are usually yellowish-white in colour and may grow to about 60-100 mm long, or more. The maximum head capsule width is about 10.6-11.4 mm. Stout-looking adults, dark brown to black, shiny, 35-50 mm long and 20-23 mm wide, with a prominent horn on head. The males having a relatively longer horn than the female. The males can be differentiated more accurately by having a rounded, shiny terminal abdominal segment while the female has a relatively hairier 'tail'.
They bore into the crown of the palm resulting in wedge shaped or "V" cuts in the fronds that unfurl. The beetle feeds on tissue juices. Some of the crushed fiber is pushed outside the entrance hole, where it indicates the insect's presence. In India damage of inflorescence is also reported in severely infested areas which cause reduction in yield up to 10%.