Modeling the potential distribution of the predator of honey bees, Palarus latifrons, in the Arabian deserts using Maxent and GIS



Al-Khalaf AA.


Saudi J Biol Sci. 2021 Oct;28(10):5667-5673. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.06.012. Epub 2021 Jun 10.


OBJECTIVES: The species Palarus latifrons (bee pirates) has been recorded in Saudi Arabia as an invasive species. This pest can destroy honey bee colonies under certain conditions. The origin of this species in Africa and it has a good ability to adapt to desert conditions. Studies on this species are very few but its current distribution in the Arabian deserts is mainly in the Arabian Gulf countries. This study presents maps for the possible expansion of this species to invade other desert areas in the Arabian countries’ under current and near-future conditions (2030). METHODS: This pest is a solitary insect with high activity during summer. It is hypothesized that summer conditions and especially temperature are the limiting factor for its distribution in the deserts. The analysis depended on generating maps based on temperatures during summer and based on two bioclimatic factors. Maxent and the geographical information system (GIS) were used to perform the analysis. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: All maps showed the high ability of this pest to spread in the Gulf countries. In North Africa: south Egypt and Libya, and some parts of Algeria showed suitability for Palarus. The invasion of this pest towards North Africa can happen mostly due to trading activities with Gulf countries especially materials containing soil. Continues monitoring for the activity of Palarus in the risk areas is highly advised. CI – © 2021 The Author(s).

Keywords: .

Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.06.012