Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Lopes, D., E. de Andrade, A. Egartner, F. Beitia, M. Rot, C. Chireceanu, V. Balmés, et al. 2023. FRUITFLYRISKMANAGE: A Euphresco project for Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae) risk management applied in some European countries. EPPO Bulletin.

Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), the Mediterranean fruit fly or medfly, is one of the world's most serious threats to fresh fruits. It is highly polyphagous (recorded from over 300 hosts) and capable of adapting to a wide range of climates. This pest has spread to the EPPO region and is mainly present in the southern part, damaging Citrus and Prunus. In Northern and Central Europe records refer to interceptions or short‐lived adventive populations only. Sustainable programs for surveillance, spread assessment using models and control strategies for pests such as C. capitata represent a major plant health challenge for all countries in Europe. This article includes a review of pest distribution and monitoring techniques in 11 countries of the EPPO region. This work compiles information that was crucial for a better understanding of pest occurrence and contributes to identifying areas susceptible to potential invasion and establishment. The key outputs and results obtained in the Euphresco project included knowledge transfer about early detection tools and methods used in different countries for pest monitoring. A MaxEnt software model resulted in risk maps for C. capitata in different climatic regions. This is an important tool to help decision making and to develop actions against this pest in the different partner countries.

Grigoropoulou, A., S. A. Hamid, R. Acosta, E. O. Akindele, S. A. Al‐Shami, F. Altermatt, G. Amatulli, et al. 2023. The global EPTO database: Worldwide occurrences of aquatic insects. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Motivation Aquatic insects comprise 64% of freshwater animal diversity and are widely used as bioindicators to assess water quality impairment and freshwater ecosystem health, as well as to test ecological hypotheses. Despite their importance, a comprehensive, global database of aquatic insect occurrences for mapping freshwater biodiversity in macroecological studies and applied freshwater research is missing. We aim to fill this gap and present the Global EPTO Database, which includes worldwide geo-referenced aquatic insect occurrence records for four major taxa groups: Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata (EPTO). Main type of variables contained A total of 8,368,467 occurrence records globally, of which 8,319,689 (99%) are publicly available. The records are attributed to the corresponding drainage basin and sub-catchment based on the Hydrography90m dataset and are accompanied by the elevation value, the freshwater ecoregion and the protection status of their location. Spatial location and grain The database covers the global extent, with 86% of the observation records having coordinates with at least four decimal digits (11.1 m precision at the equator) in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS84) coordinate reference system. Time period and grain Sampling years span from 1951 to 2021. Ninety-nine percent of the records have information on the year of the observation, 95% on the year and month, while 94% have a complete date. In the case of seven sub-datasets, exact dates can be retrieved upon communication with the data contributors. Major taxa and level of measurement Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata, standardized at the genus taxonomic level. We provide species names for 7,727,980 (93%) records without further taxonomic verification. Software format The entire tab-separated value (.csv) database can be downloaded and visualized at Fifty individual datasets are also available at, while six datasets have restricted access. For the latter, we share metadata and the contact details of the authors.

Alton, L. A., and V. Kellermann. 2023. Interspecific interactions alter the metabolic costs of climate warming. Nature Climate Change.

Climate warming is expected to increase the energy demands of ectotherms by accelerating their metabolic rates exponentially. However, this prediction ignores environmental complexity such as species interactions. Here, to better understand the metabolic costs of climate change for ectotherms, we reared three Drosophila species in either single-species or two-species cultures at different temperatures and projected adult metabolic responses under an intermediate climate-warming scenario across the global range of Drosophila . We determined that developmental acclimation to warmer temperatures can reduce the energetic cost of climate warming from 39% to ~16% on average by reducing the thermal sensitivity of metabolic rates. However, interspecific interactions among larvae can erode this benefit of developmental thermal acclimation by increasing the activity of adults that develop at warmer temperatures. Thus, by ignoring species interactions we risk underestimating the metabolic costs of warming by 3–16% on average. The authors show in Drosophila species that while developmental acclimation can reduce metabolic costs associated with warming, interspecific interactions can erode this benefit. This suggests that ignoring species interactions may lead to underestimation of metabolic costs under future climates.

Liu, S., S. Xia, D. Wu, J. E. Behm, Y. Meng, H. Yuan, P. Wen, et al. 2022. Understanding global and regional patterns of termite diversity and regional functional traits. iScience: 105538.

Our understanding of broad-scale biodiversity and functional trait patterns is largely based on plants, and relatively little information is available on soil arthropods. Here, we investigated the distribution of termite diversity globally and morphological traits and diversity across China. Our analyses showed increasing termite species richness with decreasing latitude at both the globally, and within-China. Additionally, we detected obvious latitudinal trends in the mean community value of termite morphological traits on average, with body size and leg length decreasing with increasing latitude. Furthermore, temperature, NDVI and water variables were the most important drivers controlling the variation in termite richness, and temperature and soil properties were key drivers of the geographic distribution of termite morphological traits. Our global termite richness map is one of the first high resolution maps for any arthropod group and especially given the functional importance of termites, our work provides a useful baseline for further ecological analysis.

Pazmiño-Palomino, A., C. Reyes-Puig, and A. Del Hierro. 2022. How could climate change influence the distribution of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus) (Diptera, Stratiomyidae)? Biodiversity Data Journal 10.

The black soldier fly, Hermetiaillucens (Linnaeus, 1758), is a saprophagous species used to decompose organic matter. This study proposes a distribution model of H.illucens to illustrate its current and future distribution. The methodology includes data collection from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), complemented with iNaturalist, manual expert curation of occurrence records, six species distribution models algorithms and one ensemble model. The average temperature of the driest annual quarter and the precipitation of the coldest annual quarter were the key variables influencing the potential distribution of H.illucens. The distribution range is estimated to decrease progressively and their suitable habitats could change dramatically in the future due to global warming. On the other hand, current optimal habitats would become uninhabitable for the species, mainly at low latitudes. Under this scenario, the species is projected to move to higher latitudes and elevations in the future. The results of this study provide data on the distribution of H.illucens, facilitating its location, management and sustainable use in current and future scenarios.

Alkhalaf, A. A. 2022. Utilizing Ecological Modeling to Follow the Potential Spread of Honey Bee Pest (Megaselia scalaris) from Nearby Countries towards Saudi Arabia under Climate Change Conditions. Diversity 14: 261.

The current challenge for the development of beekeeping is the possibility of bee pests invading new areas. It is well known that each geographical range has its unique pest species. The fly Megaselia scalaris is a facultative parasitoid to honey bees. This fly has been recorded in various countries while information about it in Saudi Arabia is still seldom. The main objective of this study was to follow the spread of this fly from North Africa/South Europe towards Gulf countries utilizing ecological modeling. Maxent, as a specialist software in analyzing species distribution, was used in combination of five environmental factors. The analysis was performed to cover current and future conditions (2050). The outputs of the model were analyzed in regard to their performance and distribution of M. scalaris in the study area. The top factor contributing to the model was the annual mean temperature with a percentage of 56.3. The model maps emphasized the possible occurrence of this pest in the northern parts of Saudi Arabia. The wide establishment and distribution towards the central and southern parts of Saudi Arabia were not supported. Screening apiaries located in Northern areas in Saudi Arabia for the presence of this pest using specific bait traps could be a good recommendation from this study.

Li, D., Z. Li, Z. Liu, Y. Yang, A. G. Khoso, L. Wang, and D. Liu. 2022. Climate change simulations revealed potentially drastic shifts in insect community structure and crop yields in China’s farmland. Journal of Pest Science.

Climate change will cause drastic fluctuations in agricultural ecosystems, which in turn may affect global food security. We used ecological niche modeling to predict the potential distribution for four cereal aphids (i.e., Sitobion avenae, Rhopalosiphum padi, Schizaphis graminum, and Diurphis noxia…

Wijas, B. J., S. Lim, and W. K. Cornwell. 2021. Continental‐scale shifts in termite diversity and nesting and feeding strategies. Ecography 2022.

Typically, termites are treated as a single guild, which ignores important internal diversity, including diverse feeding and nesting traits. These termite traits are crucial for both ecosystem-level fluxes and trophic webs, with implications for vertebrate species. Despite their ecological importanc…

Mackillop, S., C. Keitel, and T. Latty. 2021. Beyond Hermetia illucens  : An investigation of the garden soldier fly Exaireta spinigera as a potential bioconverter of food waste. Journal of Applied Entomology 146: 168–174.

Using insects to convert food waste into useable products, such as livestock feed, is an elegant solution to the twin crises of waste disposal and food production. To date, the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) has garnered intense research interest as an excellent bioconverter that consumes was…

Abou-Shaara, H. F., and A. A. E. Darwish. 2021. Expected prevalence of the facultative parasitoid Megaselia scalaris of honey bees in Africa and the Mediterranean region under climate change conditions. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 41: 3137–3145.

The biological invasion with new pests and pest status are highly impacted by future climate change conditions. There are a number of parasitic flies that can infect honey bees causing some economic damages. The information related to the geographical distribution of such parasitic pests is very lim…