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.

Vijayan, S., and H. Somanathan. 2022. Migration in honey bees. Insectes Sociaux.

Migration studies include spectacular examples from vertebrates, such as birds, bats, and turtles. However, insect migration studies have lagged due to a restrictive definition of what entails migration and because of constraints in tracking insect movement. This has changed in recent times with studies on migratory butterflies, moths, and dragonflies. However, studies on collective migration by social insects such as honey bees are still largely lacking, despite their impact on ecosystem services, food security, and biodiversity. In this review, we synthesise findings from scattered studies on migration in a subset of honey bee species to better understand this phenomenon and to provide impetus for future research. As a general trend, migration in the genus Apis begins with a shift from a statary to a migratory phase within colonies, characterised by greater scout activity and consensus-building with respect to the direction of departure using migratory waggle dances. Once air-borne, the finer details of a swarm’s movement are unknown for any Apis species. Swarms reportedly make multiple stops, and while temporarily existing as comb-less clusters at these sites, the decision-making process occurs repeatedly, until nest-selection dances occur and the migratory phase finally culminates. We highlight the need for studies into the drivers and mechanisms of honey bee migration, as well as the promise of initiatives such as citizen science and tools such as pollen metabarcoding in studying migration in honey bees. This is particularly needed, given that rapidly changing habitats and climate could affect honey bee migration and the pollination services they provide.

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.

Huang, M.-J., A. C. Hughes, C.-Y. Xu, B.-G. Miao, J. Gao, and Y.-Q. Peng. 2022. Mapping the changing distribution of two important pollinating giant honeybees across 21000 years. Global Ecology and Conservation 39: e02282.

Pollinators play an important role in ecosystems, but global climate change threatens the diversity and geographical distribution of pollinators. Bees are some of the most important pollinators and are particularly sensitive to climate change and environmental change. Apis laboriosa and Apis dorsata are two species of giant honeybees distributed in Asia, and play important roles in their ecosystems. In this study, we analyzed the key factors affecting the distribution of two species, as well as their potential suitable areas and possible co-existence regional changes under the global climate change. We collected and filtered global distribution data of A. laboriosa and A. dorsata, then used eight climatic variables and Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) to simulate their potential suitable areas for the past, present and future (using two different climate scenarios) using MaxEnt. Finally, we used ArcGIS 10.2 and ENMTools to calculate range overlap and niche overlap of the two species in order to infer areas of co-existence. Temperature-related variables had the largest contribution to the model simulation. Among these variables, temperature seasonality (Bio 4) and mean temperature of coldest quarter (Bio 11) showed the strongest influence on the distributions of two giant honeybees. Under the current climate scenario, the species overlap in Nepal and Yunnan of China, with low niche overlap index. Between the last-glacial maximum to the present both honeybees moved northwest to their present range. A. laboriosa is projected to move to the northeast and A. dorsata may move southeast. Only 6.6% of overlapping distribution is currently protected, and further work is needed to protect these key areas.

Liu, W., D. A. S. Smith, G. Raina, R. Stanforth, I. Ng’Iru, P. Ireri, D. J. Martins, et al. 2022. Global biogeography of warning coloration in the butterfly Danaus chrysippus. Biology Letters 18.

Warning coloration provides a textbook example of natural selection, but the frequent observation of polymorphism in aposematic species presents an evolutionary puzzle. We investigated biogeography and polymorphism of warning patterns in the widespread butterfly Danaus chrysippus using records from citizen science ( n = 5467), museums ( n = 8864) and fieldwork ( n = 2586). We find that polymorphism in three traits controlled by known mendelian loci is extensive. Broad allele frequency clines, hundreds of kilometres wide, suggest a balance between long-range dispersal and predation of unfamiliar morphs. Mismatched clines for the white hindwing and forewing tip in East Africa are consistent with a previous finding that the black wingtip allele has spread recently in the region through hitchhiking with a heritable endosymbiont. Light/dark background coloration shows more extensive polymorphism. The darker genotype is more common in cooler regions, possibly reflecting a trade-off between thermoregulation and predator warning. Overall, our findings show how studying local adaptation at the global scale provides a more complete picture of the evolutionary forces involved.

Eberhard, F. E., S. Cunze, J. Kochmann, and S. Klimpel. 2020. Modelling the climatic suitability of Chagas disease vectors on a global scale. eLife 9.

The Triatominae are vectors for Trypanosoma cruzi, the aetiological agent of the neglected tropical Chagas disease. Their distribution stretches across Latin America, with some species occurring outside of the Americas. In particular, the cosmopolitan vector, Triatoma rubrofasciata, has already been detected in many Asian and African countries. We applied an ensemble forecasting niche modelling approach to project the climatic suitability of 11 triatomine species under current climate conditions on a global scale. Our results revealed potential hotspots of triatomine species diversity in tropical and subtropical regions between 21°N and 24°S latitude. We also determined the climatic suitability of two temperate species (T. infestans, T. sordida) in Europe, western Australia and New Zealand. Triatoma rubrofasciata has been projected to find climatically suitable conditions in large parts of coastal areas throughout Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, emphasising the importance of an international vector surveillance program in these regions.

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…

Schneider, K., D. Makowski, and W. van der Werf. 2021. Predicting hotspots for invasive species introduction in Europe. Environmental Research Letters 16: 114026.

Plant pest invasions cost billions of Euros each year in Europe. Prediction of likely places of pest introduction could greatly help focus efforts on prevention and control and thus reduce societal costs of pest invasions. Here, we test whether generic data-driven risk maps of pest introduction, val…

Ji, Y. 2021. The geographical origin, refugia, and diversification of honey bees (Apis spp.) based on biogeography and niche modeling. Apidologie 52: 367–377.

An understanding of the origin and formation of biodiversity and distribution patterns can provide a theoretical foundation for biodiversity conservation. In this study, phylogeny and biogeography analyses based on mitochondrial genomes and niche modeling based on occurrence records were performed t…

Ji, Y., X. Li, T. Ji, J. Tang, L. Qiu, J. Hu, J. Dong, et al. 2020. Gene reuse facilitates rapid radiation and independent adaptation to diverse habitats in the Asian honeybee. Science Advances 6.

Animals with recent shared ancestry frequently adapt in parallel to new but similar habitats, a process often underlined by repeated selection of the same genes. Yet, in contrast, few examples have demonstrated the significance of gene reuse in colonization of multiple disparate habitats. By analyzi…