BackCixius azoricus Lindberg, 1954

Cixius azoricus Lindberg, 1954

Tree lacehopper (English)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera Fulgoromorpha
  • Family: Cixiidae
NT Near Treatened
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores


Danielczak, A.

Lamelas-Lopez, L.

Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

Cixius azoricus is an endemic canopy phytophagous species from the Azores, occurring in S. Miguel, Terceira, S. Jorge, Pico, Faial islands (Borges et al. 2010). It has a relatively small area of occupancy (AOO = 194 km² ), but a large extent of occurrence (EOO = ca 10,350 km²). It is mainly present in native forest fragments and in areas where native trees can be found. The quality of the habitat is decreasing due to the spread of invasive species (Hedychium gardnerianum and Pittosporum undulatum) that is changing the habitat structure. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will decline as a consequence of climate change. Based upon the small AOO and the fact that the area of occupancy of this species continues in decline due to habitat degradation in the native forest (mostly due to invasive plants) and to habitat fragmentation, it is assessed as Near Threatened (NT).

Geographic Range:

Cixius azoricus is an endemic tree lacehopper from the Azores occurring in S. Miguel, Terceira, S. Jorge, Pico and Faial islands (Borges et al. 2010). This species is known from the Natural Forest Reserves of Caveiro and Caiado (Pico); Biscoito da Ferraria, Caldeira Sta. Bárbara e Mistérios Negros and Terra Brava (Terceira) and Atalhada and Graminhais (S. Miguel). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is ca 10,350 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 192 km². It is mainly present in native forest fragments and in areas where native trees can be found.

Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
10350 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
192 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
10 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
1600 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Azores


Cixius azoricus is a widespread and highly abundant species. The species presents a stable population and exists in five islands. We assume no impact for the population.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs mainly in the Azorean native forest. It is a generalist diurnal canopy phytophagous species that has been found on different native plants, but also in some exotic plants. Based on seasonal data from SLAM traps obtained in several islands between 2012 and 2016, the adults are active all year, being most abundant in spring and summer (Borges et al. 2017).

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). However, the species seems to have survived in some remaining native forests of Azores, as well as in some Human modified habitats. The main current threat is the spread of invasive species namely Hedychium gardnerianum and Pittosporum undulatum. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts and habitat shifting & alteration).

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law. Its habitat is in regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Faial, Pico, S. Jorge, Terceira, and S. Miguel). Further research is needed to monitor the species and conservation measures to control the invasive plant Hedychium gardnerianum should be implemented to improve habitat quality for this species. Degraded habitats should be restored and a strategy needs to be developed to address the future threat by climate change. It is necessary a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in the habitat in order to contribute to the conservation of this species. A habitat management plan is needed and anticipated to be developed during the coming years. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2010).