Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Ke, Z., M. Mao, B. Steve Bamisile, Z. Li, and Y. Xu. 2024. Predicting the potential distribution of the Pheidole megacephala in light of present and future climate variations H. Puche [ed.],. Journal of Economic Entomology 117: 457–469. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toae013

The big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala (Fabricius), has a widespread distribution across numerous regions globally. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified it as one of the 100 worst invasive alien species worldwide, given the severe ecological and economic harm it causes in invaded areas. In this study, we predicted the present and future global distribution of P. megacephala, taking into account known distribution points and bioclimatic factors. Our results indicated that temperature is the primary factor affecting the distribution of P. megacephala, with potential suitable areas currently found mainly in South America, Southern North America, Western Europe, Coastal areas of the Mediterranean and Red Seas, Southern Africa, Southern Asia, Islands in Southeast Asia, and coastal regions of Australia. The total suitable area spans 3,352.48 × 104 km2. In China, the potential suitable area for P. megacephala is 109.02 × 104 km2, representing 11.36% of China’s land area. In the future, based on different climatic conditions, the suitable area of P. megacephala generally showed a declining trend, but some newly added suitable areas showed that it had a tendency to expand to higher latitudes. Relevant agencies should implement effective measures to control P. megacephala populations to mitigate damage in invaded areas and slow down or prevent the spread of big-headed ants into noninvaded regions.

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.105538

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.

Alencar, J. B. R., M. Bento, T. Yoshida, C. R. V. da Fonseca, and F. Beggiato Baccaro. 2022. Modeling potential invasion of stored-product pest Cryptamorpha desjardinsii (Guérin-Méneville, 1844) (Coleoptera: Silvanidae) with emphasis on newly recorded areas. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 25: 101891. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aspen.2022.101891

Desjardin’s flat bark beetle – Cryptamorpha desjardinsii (Guérin-Méneville, 1844) – is a widespread invasive species that can become a stored products pest and threaten native species. Our objectives were to provide the first detailed records of this species to South America and New Caledonia, and m…

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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-022-01479-3

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…

Lee, C. M., D.-S. Lee, T.-S. Kwon, M. Athar, and Y.-S. Park. 2021. Predicting the Global Distribution of Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) under Climate Change Using the MaxEnt Model. Insects 12: 229. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030229

The tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a serious invasive species that causes a decline in agricultural production, damages infrastructure, and harms human health. This study was aimed to develop a model using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm to predict the curr…

Arnan, X., E. Angulo, R. Boulay, R. Molowny-Horas, X. Cerdá, and J. Retana. 2021. Introduced ant species occupy empty climatic niches in Europe. Scientific Reports 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82982-y

Exploring shifts in the climatic niches of introduced species can provide significant insight into the mechanisms underlying the invasion process and the associated impacts on biodiversity. We aim to test the phylogenetic signal hypothesis in native and introduced species in Europe by examining clim…

Orr, M. C., A. C. Hughes, D. Chesters, J. Pickering, C.-D. Zhu, and J. S. Ascher. 2021. Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Current Biology 31: 451-458.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053

Insects are the focus of many recent studies suggesting population declines, but even invaluable pollination service providers such as bees lack a modern distributional synthesis. Here, we combine a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee species distributions and >5,800,000 public bee occurrence re…

Liu, X., T. M. Blackburn, T. Song, X. Wang, C. Huang, and Y. Li. 2020. Animal invaders threaten protected areas worldwide. Nature Communications 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. However, alien species invasion is an increasing threat to biodiversity, and the extent to which protected areas worldwide are resistant to incursions of alien species remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate establishment by 8…