BackDiscobola freyana Nielsen, 1961

Discobola freyana Nielsen, 1961


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Diptera
  • Family: Limoniidae
DD Data Deficient
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores


Russell, N.


Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

Discobola freyana is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), known from Flores, Faial and S. Miguel islands. From the historical data, this species potentially has a restricted Extent of Occurrence (5,890 km2) and small Area of Occupancy (48 km2). The present situation of this species needs to be further assessed, and further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. Conservation/restoration of native habitats and lakes could potentially aid this species conservation. Based upon the lack of recent data regarding this species' population, distribution, threats and ecology, it is not possible to accurately estimate the extinction risk of the species and it could theoretically fall into any category. Therefore, this species is assessed as Data Deficient (DD).

Geographic Range:

Discobola freyana is an Azorean-endemic crane fly species that was described from the islands of Flores, Faial and S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). Based on the historical data, the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) could be ca. 5,890 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) could be ca. 48 km². However, there is no recent information regarding the distribution of this species, and the actual full distribution of the species is unknown.

Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
Elevation Lower Limit:
200 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
600 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Azores


No current population size estimates exist for this species, and the overall population size and trend are essentially unknown.

Habitat and Ecology

The ecology and traits of this species are unknown. Limoniidae in general live in a wide range of humid habitats, like swamps and marshes, soil rich in humus, leaf litter, wet mosses and liverworts, in decaying plant matter or in intertidal zones, among others. Larvae are mostly aquatic or semi-aquatic (McAlpine et al. 1981). Different species of this family feed on a wide variety of food sources, with phytophagous, saprophagous, mycetophagous or predatory species occuring. Specimens of this species were collected in disturbed areas in the vicinity lakes, in introduced vegetation (arboreal ferns, Cryptomeria japonica and Hedychium gardnerianum ).

Major Threat(s):

A lack of information regarding the present status of this species precludes an assessment of potential threats. Nevertheless, the ecology of other members of the Limonidae family suggests that this species might be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016) and increased droughts. Additionally, this species has been collected from some currently highly disturbed sites, so habitat degradation caused by past and present human disturbance and land use changes might have also affected it, even if this species seems to tolerate exotic and invasive plant species.

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law. The present situation of this species needs to be further assessed, and further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. From what is known of its habitat preferences, conservation of native habitats and natural water bodies could potentially aid this species' conservation. Historically at least, this species was present in areas that are currently included in the Natural Parks of Flores and S. Miguel, disturbed or otherwise