Species

BackAthous azoricus Platia & Gudenzi, 2002

Athous azoricus Platia & Gudenzi, 2002

Click beetle (English); Escaravelho-mola-dos-Açores (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Elateridae
EN Endangered
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Danielczak, A.

Contributor/s:

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Athous azoricus is an endemic species present in Flores, Graciosa, Terceira and S. Miguel islands (Azores, Portugal). It has a large extent of occurrence (EOO = ca 14,000 km²) and small area of occupancy (AOO = 44 km²). The species is rare and  known from at least five fragmented subpopulations in five locations.  In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality. The main threat to this species is the impact of introduced species and the agricultural activities. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts). Based upon the small area of occupancy and associated decline in extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and habitat quality it is assessed as Endangered.

Geographic Range:

Athous azoricus is an endemic species present in Flores, Graciosa, Terceira and S. Miguel islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is ca 14,000 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 44 km².

Regions:
Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
14000 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
44 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
50 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
300 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Palearctic
Presence:
Extant
Origin:
Endemic Azores
Seasonality:
Resident

Population:

The species is rare. There is an inferred continuing decline in the number of mature individuals since the five known subpopulations are under threat due to major land-use changes at lower altitudes.

Habitat and Ecology

The species occurs in native and exotic forests of the Flores, Graciosa, Terceira, and S. Miguel islands (Azores), with an altitudinal range between 50 and 300 m. Adults and larvae are herbivores and feed of plant tissues.

Major Threat(s):

In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality (Triantis et al. 2010, Terzopoulou et al. 2015). Currently the main threat to this species is the impact of introduced species and the agricultural activities. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts).

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law. Degraded habitats should be restored and a strategy needs to be developed to address the future threat by climate change. A habitat management plan is needed and anticipated to be developed during the coming years. Formal education and awareness is needed to allow future investments in restored habitats invaded by invasive plants. Further research is needed into its ecology and life history in order to find extant specimens in additional native forest fragments in several islands and obtain information on population size, distribution and trends. It is also necessary a area-based management plan and a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in the habitat in order to contribute to perform a species potential recovery plan. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2011).