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  • National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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First records of the invasive western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910) in Kosovo are presented and discussed. This finding complements the known range of the species in the Balkan Peninsula with Albania now being the only country without confirmation of its presence.
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1National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zmaja od Bosne 3, 71000 Sarajevo,
Bosnia and Herzegovina;
2Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences,
University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”,
Mother Teresa p.n. 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo;
Abstract – First records of the invasive western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus oc-
cidentalis Heidemann, 1910) in Kosovo are presented and discussed. This finding
complements the known range of the species in the Balkan Peninsula with Albania
now being the only country without confirmation of its presence.
KEY WORDS: alien species, Balkan Peninsula, distribution, Hemiptera, insects, Pinaceae,
true bugs.
Predstavljeni so prvi podatki o pojavljanju tujerodne invazivne stenice storževe
listonožke (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910) na Kosovu. To poročanje
dopolnjuje znano razširjenost vrste na Balkanskem polotoku, od koder je sedaj potrjena
prisotnost vrste v vseh državah z izjemo Albanije.
KLJUČNE BESEDE: tujerodne vrste, Balkanski polotok, razširjenost, Hemiptera, storževa
listonožka, Pinaceae, polkrilci.
Western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910) is an in-
vasive species of Nearctic origin native to the area of North America west of Rocky
LJUBLJANA, JUNIJ 2017 Vol. 25, øt. 1: 115–118
Mts., from British Columbia to North Mexico (McPherson et al. 1990; Dusoulier et
al. 2007). First introduction to Europe was recorded in Italy, near Vicenza in 1999
(Taylor et al. 2001). L. occidentalis spread fast across the continent and within 15
years it was reported from all parts of Europe, including Portugal, England, Norway,
Turkey, Ukraine and Russia (Fent & Kment 2011; Gapon 2013). Although its expan-
sion in Italy and neighboring countries was probably the result of natural spreading
of established Italian population, some other isolated and mutually distant records
suggest independent introductions or secondary translocations within Europe (Du-
soulier et al. 2007; Rabitsch 2008).
In North America the Western conifer seed bug is considered to be a serious pest
in seed orchards of conifers (e. g. McPherson et al. 1990). The species feeds on de-
veloping seeds and flowers of different conifer species, with a preference for Pinaceae,
causing reduction of seed fertility. Another negative impact of L. occidentalis is that
it can also become the nuisance to people. As the weather cools in autumn, adults
search suitable sheltered overwintering places for hibernation and often aggregate in
homes and other buildings, sometimes in large numbers (Fent & Kment 2011).
Although L. occidentalis already spread across the whole Balkan Peninsula (Fent
& Kment 2011) until now it was not reported from Kosovo. This paper presents first
documented and verified observations of the species for this country. Adult western
conifer seed bugs were collected at four sites in eastern (13/VII/2015) and western
(20/III/2016) Kosovo (Fig. 1). The sampling was carried out by handpicking and the
collected specimens were preserved in 80 % ethanol. L. occidentalis from Batllavë
Lake and Ballaban village are deposited at the Laboratory of Zoology of the Depart-
ment of Biology, Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Pr-
ishtina, Kosovo. One specimen from the Patriarchate of Pejë/Peć is deposited in the
collections of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. Both lo-
calities in the east are situated in the area of Batllavë Lake, one of the largest lakes in
Kosovo, while the localities in western part of Kosovo, Pejë Monastery and Deçan
Monastery, are located at the foothills of Bjeshkët e Nemuna Mountains.
Acta entomologica slovenica, 25 (1), 2017
Fig. 1: Study area and the finding sites of
Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann in Kosovo.
Material examined: Loc. 1. Podujevë Municipality, Batllavë Lake, N
42.817626° E 21.310313°, 13/VII/2015, 653 m a.s.l., 2 adults, H. Ibrahimi leg. &
det.; Loc. 2. Podujevë Municipality, Ballaban village, N 42.795226° E 21.322476°,
13/VII/2015, 682 m a.s.l., 1 adult, H. Ibrahimi leg. & det.; Loc. 3. Pejë Municipality,
Garden of the Patriarchate of Peć/Pejë, N 42.661111° E 20.265556°, 20/III/2016,
543 m a.s.l., 1 adult, D. Kulijer leg. & det; Loc. 4. Deçan Municipality, Visoki
Dečani (Deçan) Monastery, N 42.547222° E 20.266944°, 20/III/2016, 660 m a.s.l.,
6 adults, D. Kulijer leg. & det (Fig. 2).
As Balkan Peninsula is largely undersampled for L. occidentalis in comparison to
other parts of Europe, it can be assumed that the species is much more common in the
area then can be seen from available data. The recent discovery of L. occidentalis in
Macedonia (Kulijer 2016) and now Kosovo complements the known range of the
species in the Balkan Peninsula with Albania now being the only country without
published data on the species presence.
L. occidentalis probably arrived in Kosovo through natural expansion from neigh-
boring countries, in some of which it was known several years before (Hradil 2008;
Protić 2008). Species discovery at multiple locations in different regions of Kosovo
Dejan Kulijer, Halil Ibrahimi: First report of invasive species Leptoglossus occidentalis in Kosovo (Heteroptera: Coreidae)
Fig. 2: Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann at Visoki Dečani/Deçan. Photo: D.
suggests existence of an established population in the country, and not accidentally
introduced individuals. It is too early to say if or what will be the effect of the western
conifer seed bug to commercial forestry in Kosovo. So far in Europe there are no re-
ports on any major damage to conifer seed orchards or forests (Rabitsch 2008). Future
monitoring of this invasive species is needed as mass development could represent
serious threat to the forests and seed production in forestry.
Dusoulier, F., Lupoli, R., Aberlenc, H.-P., Streito, J.-C., 2007: L’invasion orientale
de Leptoglossus occidentalis en France: bilan de son extension biogéographique
en 2007 (Hemiptera Coreidae). L’Entomologiste, 63 (6): 303–308.
Fent, M., Kment, P., 2011: First record of the invasive western conifer seed bug
Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in Turkey. North-Western
Journal of Zoology, 7 (1): 72–80.
Gapon, D. A., 2013: First records of the western conifer seed bug Leptoglossus oc-
cidentalis Heid. (Heteroptera, Coreidae) from Russia and Ukraine, regularities
in its distribution and possibilities of its range expansion in the Palaearctic
region. Entomological Review, 93 (2): 174–181.
Hradil, K., 2008: Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) A new alien
species in Montenegro. Acta Entomologica Serbica, 13: 77–79.
Kulijer, D., 2016: Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) and Harmonia
axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), two new invasive alien species for insect
fauna of Macedonia. Ecologica Montenegrina, 5: 22–25.
McPherson, J. E., Packauskas, R. J., Taylor, J., O´Brien, M. F., 1990: Eastern
range extension of Leptoglossus occidentalis with a key to Leptoglossus species
of America north of Mexico (Heteroptera: Coreidae). The Great Lakes Entomol-
ogist, 23 (2): 99–104.
Protić, Lj., 2008: Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in
Serbia. Acta Entomologica Serbica, 13: 81–84.
Rabitsch, W., 2008: Alien true bugs of Europe (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera).
Zootaxa, 1827: 1–44.
Taylor, S. J., Tescari, G., Villa, M. 2001: A Nearctic pest of Pinaceae accidentally
introduced into Europe: Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in
northern Italy. Entomological News, 112: 101–103.
Received / Prejeto: 31. 3. 2017
Acta entomologica slovenica, 25 (1), 2017
... This already happened with other invasive insect species recorded in Kosovo like the western conifer seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis. This insect was reported from two localities in the east of the country, in the area of Batllava Lake, as well as in two localities from the foothills of Bjeshkët e Nemuna Mountains, in the western part of Kosovo [44]. ...
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... This record was followed by a rapid spread of this species in Italy, where it was found all around the country, including Sicily and Sardinia (e.g., Bernardinelli & Zandigiacomo 2001). Soon, it crossed Italian boundaries and began spreading in Europe (e.g., Gogala 2003;Ribes et al. 2004;Kulijer & Ibrahimi 2017). It has already settled such countries as England (Malumphy & Reid 2007), Norway (Mjøs et al. 2010) and Sweden (Lindelöw & Bergsten 2012). ...
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..., BugGuide (Iowa State University, ) and published papers (Heidemann, 1910;Froeschner, 1942;Drew and Schaefer, 1963;Schaffner, 1967;Allen, 1969;Horning and Barr, 1970;Brailovsky and Sánchez, 1983;Katovich and Kulman, 1987;McDaniel, 1989;McPherson et al., 1990;Gall, 1992;Colombi and Brunetti, 2002;Gogala, 2003;Rabitsch and Heiss, 2005;Dusoulier et al., 2007;Wyniger, 2007;Lis et al., 2008;Simov, 2008;Ruicanescu, 2009;Chordas III et al., 2011;Ahn et al., 2013;Faúndez and Rocca, 2017;Joyce et al., 2017;Kulijer and Ibrahimi, 2017;Özgen et al., 2017;Swanson and Millan-Hernandez, 2017;van der Heyden, 2018;Wheeler, 2018). Prior to data analysis we removed erroneous records by performing some data cleaning tests. ...
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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 distri-butional 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.
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Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann 1910 is known as the western conifer seed bug and is an impor-tant pest species in North America feeding on seeds of conifers. The overwintering adults enter households and factories and cause nuisance to people. This pest species has been introduced in Europe through trans-portation and spread rapidly over the continent after its first appearance in northern Italy in 1999. In Turkey it has been found in Edirne and Kırklareli (Lüleburgaz) in Turkish Thrace in October 2009 and in Novomber 2010, respectively, representing the first record of this alien Nearctic genus and species in the country. This study reports identification characters of the species, its host plants, details about its biology and a map of its most recent distribution throughout Europe.
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English article. ; Publisher Name: American Entomological Society, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195 USA
Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) A new alien species in Montenegro
  • K Hradil
Hradil, K., 2008: Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) A new alien species in Montenegro. Acta Entomologica Serbica, 13: 77-79.