Species

BackNeomariania oecophorella Rebel, 1940

Neomariania oecophorella Rebel, 1940

Moth (English); Traça (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Stathmopodidae
VU Vulnerable
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Danielczak, A.

Contributor/s:
Nunes, R. & Lamelas-Lopez, L.

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Neomariania oecophorella is an endemic species present in Flores, Faial, Pico, Terceira and S. Miguel islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a relatively large extent of occurrence (EOO = ca 17,000 km²), but a small area of occupancy (AOO = 32 km²). The species was originally abundant and known from at least six fragmented populations. Currently Neomariania oecophorella is under threat due to degradation of the habitat by urban development, but also due to invasive plants Pittosporum undulatum and Hedychium gardnerianum that are changing some of the areas and decreasing the quality of the habitat. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change. Based upon the small area of occupancy, decreasing quality of the habitat and low number of subpopulations it is assessed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range:

Neomariania oecophorella is an endemic species present in Flores, Faial, Pico, Terceira and S. Miguel islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known originally from native forest and in open landscapes with isolated tree groups. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is ca 17,000 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 32 km².

Regions:
Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
17000 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
32 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
10 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
200 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Palearctic
Presence:
Extant
Origin:
Endemic Azores
Seasonality:
Resident

Population:

This species is low abundant in the Azorean islands (Flores, Faial, Pico, Terceira and S. Miguel), occurring mostly in native vegetation but also in naturalised plants at low elevations.

Habitat and Ecology

The species occurs in native forest areas but also in open landscapes with isolated tree groups. Possibly, the larvae feed on fruit and flowers such as Fabaceae and Moraceae, also in sporangia of ferns; the adult flies in May and June (Rebel 1940). Altitudinal range: 10-200 m.

Major Threat(s):

In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality, mostly the creation of pastures (Triantis et al. 2010). In some of the historical locations major changes also occurred for urban development in the last 50 years. Currently invasive plants Pittosporum undulatum and Hedychium gardnerianum are changing some of the areas and decreasing the quality of the habitat. These changes are decreasing the relative cover of endemic plants and changing the soil cover (decreasing the cover of bryophytes and ferns). 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. Further research is needed to monitor the species and conservation measures to control the invasive Hedychium gardnerianum and Pittosporum undulatum should be implemented to improve habitat quality for this species. Additional research is needed into its ecology and life history in order to find extant specimens. 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.