Expansion of Geographic or Host Range

Many species of stored product insects have been distributed by commerce and a few recently enough to have a written record. By 1932, Angoumois grain moth, Sitotroga cerealella, had spread to 51 countries (Simmons and Ellington 1932) being introduced in the US by 1730 and France by before 1736. Outbreak of this moth was reported in western France in 1761 (Duhamel Du Monceau and Tillet 1762). It was reported in Virginia, USA in 1743 (Carter and Lee 1769), then Maryland in 1898 and New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1889 (Simmons and Ellington 1925, 1932). There were outbreaks in 7 years between 1897 and 1924.

Mediterranean flour moth, Ephestia kuhniella, was reported to be in Germany in 1877 (Barrett 1887), Guatemala in 1880 and Mexico in 1881 (Durrant 1913), Belgium in 1884 and England in 1888 (Riley and Howard 1889), Australia in 1896 (Froggatt 1910), Canada in 1899 (Chittenden 1900) and to spread within the United States between 1892-1906 (Johnson 1906). There may be several years between its introduction and a species being reported. It was given the common name, Mediterranean flour moth because it had been encountered at these ports (Durrant 1913). There is no absolutely certain record of the moth prior to Zeller’s description in 1879 (Richards and Thomson 1932). Yet in a few years it had become a pest throughout the greater part of Europe prior to 1932 (Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland) and within twenty years it was giving trouble in many districts of N. America (Canada and United States). Also, found in Algeria, Australia, British Guiana, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Tasmania and Turkey prior to 1932. Lebedev (1930) provides evidence that E. kuhniella may have originated in Southwest Asia, e. g. Mesopotamia or Southeast Armenia and was introduced into Europe. CABI said that “Turkey may be the centre of dispersion: Asia Minor has 18 species of Ephestia (out of 60 classified).” (https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/2141). Also see Johnson’s American Miller column for an index to his columns. Johnson wrote extensively about Ephestia kuhniella, said that mills had to hire extra workers to remove the silk produced by these moth larvae clogging spouts and that moth infestations were responsible for the closing of several mills in Germany, England, Canada and California (Johnson 1895).

The bean weevil, Acanthoscelides obtectus, originated in South America and has been found with red lima beans in ancient Indian graves in Peru dating from 1-500 A.D (Essig 1929). The bean weevils were introduced in California by Mission Padres with the founding of the first Mission at San Diego. Bean weevil was not reported in France before the late 19th century, a good 300 years after bean crops were introduced. From southeastern France, bean weevil colonized a large part of Europe and was later spread to Africa following the introduction of Phaseolus vulgaris as crop. Recently, Acanthoscelides obtectus has been introduced and is now widely distributed in Indian Himalayas (Thakur 2012). This species has been introduced into a few Asian countries but this is the first reported establishment in the Indian subcontinent.

Trogoderma granarium is native to the Indian subcontinent, has become established in 34 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe and introduced but not established in another 32 countries in Europe, North and South America, and Oceania (Athanassiou et al. 2019). Infestations in a country can result in serious trade restrictions. Found in stored malt in Britain and Germany in early 1900’s. First recorded in the United States in October 1953 in the state of California. introduction may have been as early as 1946 but was misidentified as the black carpet beetle, Attagenus piceus. By 1966, the species was successfully eradicated. Sources of interceptions at US port of entry from 1984 to 2010 were Asia (45%) and Middle Eastern and Northern African countries (43%), with only 1–4% originating in either Europe, Canada, Central America, Australia, or Sub-Saharan Africa. Several studies have investigated the potential for range expansion by Trogoderma granarium (Banks 1977, Howe and Lindgren 1957 and Viljoen 1990) and Prostephanus truncatus (Arthur et al. 2019).

Originating from Meso-America (where reported in 10 countries), Prostephanus truncatus within 10 years of introduction to Tanzania prior to 1981 was found in neighboring Kenya, Burundi and Malawi (Quellhorst et al. 2021). This species was also introduced into Togo in 1984 and spread to neighboring countries (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria). This species spread to only three new African countries (Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mozambique) in the last 20 years for a total of 22 African countries and failed to establish when introduced into Italy, Israel, Iraq or Thailand.

Reesa vespulae was first collected in 1957-1958 in Germany, in 1959 in Moscow, Russia  and Denmark, after­wards it was collected in other European countries, it is established in most of them and known from only two countries in South America (Nardi and Hava 2021). Oldest records from outside its native range are: 1942 (Australian region), 1946 (Neotropical region), 1957–1958 (Palaearctic region) and 1986–2010 (Oriental region).

Acanthoscelides obtectus can reproduce on alternative hosts (Savkovic et 2019) as can Callosobruchus maculatus (Credland 1987, Haouel-Hamdi and Labidi 2018, Sankara et al. 2010) and Sitophilus oryzae, S. zeamais and S. granarius (Delobel and Grenier 1993). Some infestation records (Hagstrum et al 2013) may not be a result of cross infestation but rather the result of insect reproducing on a broader than expected range of commodities. Before 1900, Cynaeus angustus was only found breeding in decomposing plants in southwestern United States, but it has spread across the United States becoming a pest of several cereal grains (Dunkel et 1982). Zabrotes subfasciatus feeds on kidney bean, it was spread to Africa by the slave trade and is now a pest of cowpeas in Nigeria and Uganda (Southgate 1964). Caryedon serratus feeds on Tamarindus indica, it was spread over trade routes to Africa where it has become a pest of peanut in Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria (Delobel 1995).

At the family level, Jelinek et al. (2016) found that 22 species of Nitidulid pests of stored products have introduced in Europe and Mediterranean areas. At the country level, Šefrová  and Laštůvka (2005) found that 114 species of stored product insects have been introduced into the Czech Republic.

For the geographical origin of 86 species of stored product insects see Table 1.4 (Hagstrum and Subramanyam 2009 ). When reported under distribution, the year that species is first discovered is given in parentheses after the continent, country, province or state name in Table 1.1. Other pages on this website provide citations for examples of geographic range expansion and efforts to prevent these expansions (See Cryptolestes pusilloides as a pest, Emergence of Tribolium destructor Uyttenboogaart 1934 as pest, Regulatory Control of Khapra beetle, Regulatory Control of Potato Tuber Worm and Regulatory Control of Sweetpotato Weevil).

Arthur, Frank H., William R. Morrison, and Amy C. Morey 2019. Modeling the Potential Range Expansion of Larger Grain Borer, Prostephanus truncatus (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae). Scientific Reports 9(1): 6862

Athanassiou, Christos G., Thomas W. Phillips, and Waqas Wakil. 2019. Biology and Control of the Khapra Beetle, Trogoderma granarium, a Major Quarantine Threat to Global Food Security. Ann.Rev.Entomol. 64: 131–148.

Banks, H.J. 1977. Distribution and Establishment of Trogoderma granarium Everts (Coleoptera-Dermestidae) – Climatic and Other Influences. Journal of Stored Products Research 13 (4): 183–202.

Barrett, Charles G. 1887. Ephestia kühniella, Z., in England. Entomol. Mon. Mag. 23: 255-256.

Carter, Landon, and Colonel Lee. 1769. Observations Concerning the Fly-Weevil, That Destroys the Wheat, with Some Useful Discoveries and Conclusions, Concerning the Propagation and Progress of That Pernicious Insect, and the Methods to Be Used for Preventing the Destruction of the Grain by It. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 1: 205–217.

Chittenden, F. H. 1900. On the recent spread of the Mediterranean flour moth. USDA Bull. 22: 97-98.

Credland, P. F. 1987. Effects of Host Change on the Fecundity and Development of an Unusual Strain of Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Journal of Stored Products Research 23: 91–98.

Delobel, A. 1995. The shift of Caryedon serratus Ol. From wild Caesalpiniaceae to groundnuts took place in West Africa (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 31: 101-102.

Delobel, B., and A. M. Grenier. 1993. Effect of Non-Cereal Food on Cereal Weevils and Tamarind Pod Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Stored Products Research 29(1): 7–14.

Duhamel Du Monceau, Henri Louis and Mathieu Tillet 1762. Histoire d’un insecte qui devore les grains de l’Angoumois; avec les moyens que l’on peut employer pour le detruire (History of an insect which devours the grains of Angoumois; with the means that can be used to destroy it). Hippolyte-Louis Guerin and Louis-Francois Delatour, Paris, France 314p.

Dunkel, F. V., A. V. Barak, and P. K. Harein. 1982. Geographical Distribution of Cynaeus angustus (LeConte) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Its Association with Stored Products. Journal of Biogeography 9: 345–352.

Durrant, J. Hartley and W. W. O. Beveridge 1913. A preliminary report of the temperature reached in army biscuits during baking, especially with reference to the destruction of the imported flour-moth, Ephestia kühniella Zeller. Journal of the Royal Medical Corp 20(6): 615-634.

Essig, E. O. 1929. Origin of the bean weevil, Mylabris obtectus (Say). J. Econ. Entomol. 22: 858-861.

Froggatt, W. W. 1910. The Millers’ Pest. Mediterranean flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella, Zeller). Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales 21: 1076-1080.

Hagstrum, D. W., T. Z. Klejdysz, Bh. Subramanyam and J. Nawrot. 2013. Atlas of Stored-Product Insects and Mites. AACC International, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Hagstrum, D. W. and Bh. Subramanyam. 2009. Stored-Product Insect Resource. AACC International, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Haouel-Hamdi, Soumaya, and Meriem Labidi. 2018. Rapid Ability Adaptation of Callosobruchus maculatus to a Novel Host Vigna unguiculata. Tunisian Journal of Plant Protection 13: 113-121. Chickpea back to cowpea

Howe, R.W. and D.L. Lindgren. 1957. How much can the khapra beetle spread in the U.S.A. J. Econ. Entomol. 50:374-375.

Jelínek, Josef, Paolo Audisio, Jiří Hájek, Cosimo Baviera, Bernard Moncoutier, Thomas Barnouin, Hervé Brustel, Hanife Genç and Richard AB Leschen. 2016. Epuraea imperialis (Reitter, 1877). New invasive species of Nitidulidae (Coleoptera) in Europe, with a checklist of sap beetles introduced to Europe and Mediterranean areas. Atti della Accademia Peloritana dei Pericolanti-Classe di Scienze Fisiche, Matematiche e Naturali/ Proceedings of the Peloritana Academy of Pericolanti-Class of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences  94(2): 1-24.

Johnson, W. G. 1895. The Mediterranean flour moth. Amer. Miller 23: 198.

Johnson, W. G. 1906. Answers to queries and notes on insect injuries in mills No. LII. American Miller 34: 479-480.

Lebedev, A. 1930. Zur Frage der geographischen Herkunft der Mehlmotte (Ephestia kühniella Zell. (On the question of the geographical origin of the flour moth (Ephestia kühniella Zell.)). Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie/ Journal of Applied Entomology 16(3): 597-605.

Nardi, Gianluca, and Jiří Hava. 2021. Chronology of the worldwide spread of a parthenogenetic beetle, Reesa vespulae (Milliron, 1939)(Coleoptera: Dermestidae). Fragmenta entomologica 53(2): 347-356.

Quellhorst, Hannah, Christos G. Athanassiou, Kun Yan Zhu, and William R. Morrison. 2021. The Biology, Ecology and Management of the Larger Grain Borer, Prostephanus Truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 94, 101860

Richards, O. W., and W. S. Thomson. 1932. A Contribution to the Study of the Genera Ephestia, Gn.(including Strymax, Dyar), and Plodia, Gn.(Lepidoptera, Phyeitidae), with Notes on Parasites of the Larvae. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 80(2): 169-250.

Riley, C. V. and L. O. Howard. 1889. The so-called Mediterranean flour moth. USDA Bur. Ent. Insect Life 2: 166-171.

Sankara, F., Koussoubé, J., Ilboudo, Z., Dabiré, L., and Sanon, A. 2016. Influence of secondary host plants on the embryonic and larval development of Callosobruchus maculatus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae, Bruchinae). International Journal of Environmental & Agriculture Research 2: 141-149

Šefrová, Hana, and Zdeněk Laštůvka 2005. Catalogue of alien animal species in the Czech Republic. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis 53(4): 151-170.

Simmons, P., and G. W. Ellington. 1925. Causes of Outbreaks of the Angoumois Grain Moth. Journal of Economic Entomology 18: 309–320.

Simmons, P., and G. W. Ellington. 1932. Biography of the Angoumois grain moth. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 25: 265-281.

Southgate, B. J. 1964. Distribution and hosts of certain Bruchidae in Africa. Trop. Stored Prod. Inf. 7: 277-280

Thakur, D.R. 2012 Taxonomy, distribution and pest status of Indian biotypes of Acanthoscelides obtectus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) – a new record. Pak J Zool 44: 189–195.

Viljoen, J.H. 1990. The occurrence of Trogoderma (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) and related species in southern Africa with special reference to T. granarium and its potential to become established. J. Stored Prod. Res. 26: 43-51.

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