Ten species of parthenogenetic broad-nosed weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae) native to Argentina, southern Brazil, and Uruguay were selected for niche modeling analysis based on climatic data and altitude, to evaluate their potential range expansion inside and outside South America. The selected species belong to five genera of the tribe Naupactini affecting economically important crops. Until present, five of the 10 species analyzed here have invaded prairies and steppes of countries outside South America (Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, United States, and South Africa) : Aramigus tessellatus (Say), Atrichonotussordidus (Hustache), Atrichonotus taeniatulus (Berg), Naupactus leucoloma Boheman, and Naupactus peregrinus (Buchanan). Our niche modeling analyses performed with MAXENT demonstrated that these areas would be also suitable for Aramigus conirostris (Hustache), Eurymetopus fallax (Boheman), Pantomorus auripes Hustache, Pantomorus ruizi (Brèthes), and Pantomorus viridisquamosus (Boheman), consequently, they also have the potential to invade areas outside their native ranges, mainly in southeastern United States, some European countries (e.g., Portugal, France, and southern England), South Africa, New Zealand, and southeastern Australia. All the studied species share similar environmental requirements, the most important variables being the Mean Temperature of Driest Quarter, the Annual Mean Temperature and Isothermality. Long distance dispersal through commercial trade, and parthenogenetic reproduction would increase the threat of these weevils to crop production worldwide.
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Vol. 42 • No. 4