Ecological niche modeling (enm) of leptoglossus clypealis a new potential global invader: following in the footsteps of Leptoglossus occidentalis?
The introduction of alien species is one of the main problems in conservation. Many successful invaders cause severe economic and ecological damage. Such is the case of Leptoglossus occidentalis, a phytophagous true bug native to North America, which has become a pest in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Within the genus, another species whose distributional range is expanding toward the east of North America is Leptoglossus clypealis. As climate determines the successful establishment of insects, the identification of climatically suitable areas for invasive species based on ecological niche models (ENMs) offers an excellent opportunity for preventing invasions. In this study, ENMs were built for both species and their native climatic niches were compared. Their niche breath was also measured. The climatic niches of both species are identical and the niche breadth of L. clypealis is broader than that of L. occidentalis. In view of the great ecological resemblance between these two species, we believe that L. clypealis could became a major pest thus it should be carefully monitored. The results of the present worldwide ENMs showed numerous regions with suitable conditions for the establishment of both species. The future ENMs exhibited a retraction in the suitable areas in North America, Europe and Asia.