Alien leaf beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) of European Russia and some general tendencies of leaf beetle invasions.
Invasions of leaf beetles can cause tremendous economic consequences because some of these insects become major pests in invaded territories. We present the first inventory of alien Chrysomelidae of European Russia that appeared in the region in the 20th and 21st centuries (9 species) with analysis of the history of their invasions and detailed maps of distribution. This case study revealed some general tendencies of invasions of leaf beetles: (1) Recently, a dramatic increase in the rate of Chrysomelidae invasions is observed, which reflects the increase in international trade of living plants; (2) Alien leaf beetles can spread quickly, occupying almost all of Europe within several decades; (3) When the range of some leaf beetle species is quickly expanding, or when the species has been recorded established somewhere outside the native range, this species should be regarded as a potential invader worldwide. and (4) Alien leaf beetles usually occur on alien or cultivated plants, but some become naturalized in native communities. The specific information was the following. Two species native to the Mediterranean region, Chrysolina americana (feeds on Rosmarinus and Lavandula) and Leptomona erythrocephala (feeds on Lotus corniculatus) were recorded in European Russia for the first time. A polyphagous pest of floriculture Luperomorpha xanthodera native to China and Korea and a pest of soybeans Medythia nigrobilineata native to east Asia have been in the region since 2016. A pest of tobacco Epitrix hirtipennis native to North America has occurred since 2011. A pest of corn Diabrotica virgifera was intercepted at the border of Russia in 2011 but has not established. Three alien species have been in the region since the 20th century: Zygogramma suturalis introduced from North America for control of Ambrosia, Phyllotreta reitteri native to Afghanistan and Tajikistan and feeding on Lepidium latifolium, and the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata.