IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

MAIISG Newsletter November 2019

Terça, 26 de Novembro de 2019

Hope that everyone has had a super successful 2019.

In this newsletter we have exciting group developments for MAIISG partners work from 2109 including: an IUCN Award for MAIISG, land snail species for Desertas island in Madeira, the newly printed invertebrate education pack on St Helena and a call for help with caterpillar samples. MAIISG wins award! IUCN through its Species Survival Commission (SSC) has awarded MAIISG the ‘SSC-Chair's Citation of Excellence Award’. Below is a photo of the co-chairs and Red list coordinator, Paulo A.V. Borges, Vicky Wilkins and Dinarte Teixeira, after receiving the award at the recent SSC Species Leaders conference. This award was given to groups that met above average IUCN SSC objectives in the 2017-2018 biennium. Recognising that MAIISG members have Red listed over 300 arthropod, arachnid and mollusc species from the Macaronesian and South Atlantic Islands, has published several scientific articles and participated in a wide variety of conservation planning exercises and active conservation projects. A very big thank you to you all and for all your participation and support of the group, as without the member’s incredible hard work this award would not have been possible.

New land snails described for Deserta Granda By Dinarte Teixeira The Deserta Grande island in the Madeira archipelago has had six new species and two new subspecies of land snails described. This is the work of the MAIISG members Dinarte Teixeira, Klaus Groh and Robert Cameron. Based on the examination of new sites containing fossil-rich Quaternary deposits from the Deserta Grande and from the reassessment of earlier collections. The revised taxonomy involves species in the genera Leiostyla (Lauriidae: desertaensis n. sp., simulans n. sp., cooki n. sp., castanheiraensis n. sp.), Actinella (fecundaerrata n. nom.), Discula (cameroni n. sp., polymorpha docaensis n. ssp.) (all Geomitridae), and Leptaxis (Hygromiidae: isambertoi n. sp., groviana antiqua n. ssp.).

In the paper in press on the Archiv für Molluskenkunde n.º 148 (2) lectotypes were designated for Helix pittae Paiva, 1866, Helix actinophora var. β descendens Wollaston, 1878 and Helix vulgata var. ε saxipotens Wollaston, 1878. Besides, the latter two are elevated to species rank. Their binomial names are now Caseolus pittae, Actinella descendens and Actinella saxipotens. For Helix senilis var. γ pusilla R.T. Lowe, 1855 a neotype is designated, and the new name Actinella fecundaerrata given to replace the previous name. In addition, further notes are given on findings of species of the genera Cecilioides (Ferussaciidae), Helicomela, Geomitra and Spirorbula (all Geomitridae) on the Desertas Islands. Reference: Teixeira D, Pokryszko B, Cameron RAD, Silva I & Groh, K (in press). Taxonomic revision of the late-Pleistocene/Holocene land-mollusc fauna (Gastropoda Pulmonata) of the Desertas Islands, Madeiran Archipelago, with the description of six new species and two new subspecies. Archiv für Moluskenkunde, 148 (2), Frankfurt.

Invertebrate Education Pack presented to Schools by Liza Fowler Over the years, the Saint Helena National Trust (SHNT) has developed environmental educational activities and resources for the island's school children. The Darwin Initiative funded project, ‘Securing the Future of St Helena’s endemic invertebrates’ has now allowed the printing of a Invertebrate Education Pack. It was first developed during the Darwin Project 'Bugs on the Brink' that ran from 2013-2016, and was produced by the Project Education Officer, Liza Fowler. The SHNT Invertebrate Team, Natasha Stevens and Liza Fowler, along with the Outreach and Education Officer, Sheena Isaac, presented the Island’s Primary Schools and High School with the Pack. It also being distributed to other youth groups, and one was given to the Girl Guide Association. The contents link to the current national curriculum, supporting what is currently being taught. Content has been tailored to give a more comprehensive understanding of our island’s endemic, native, non-native and invasive invertebrates, as well as their habitats. Incorporated in the Pack are stimulating stories such as: wasps that uses hosts to survive, as well as invertebrates that mimic other invertebrates. A presentation using the stories was also given by Image: Discula cameroni nov sp.

Natasha and Liza before the packs were presented to each of the schools. With a very positive reaction from the audiences and great comments from the teachers on the quality of this wonderful resource. There is also a loan box which accompanies the pack that contains collecting equipment such as pooters and a display box with specimen samples, these can be used by the schools to support the delivery of activities such as bug hunts. SHNT strives to accommodate visits by schools and youth groups and will continue to build its invertebrate education programme. Image – Liza Fowler and Natasha Stevens with Invertebrate Education Pack and Liza delivering a presentation before handing over the pack at Harford Primary School.

Call for butterfly samples from the Azores and Madeira MAIISG member Yeray Monasterio León is studying Luffia species (Psychidae) and would like help looking for samples from the Azores and Madeira. The caterpillars of this Luffia species are easy to find on the walls, so anyone interested can help. Please do contact Yeray on zerynthia.org@gmail.com if you are interested or able to help.

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How many endemic species of arthropods are in Azores?

There are about 250 arthropod species and subespecies endemic to Azores. See also http://sea-entomologia.org/IDE@/revista_5B.pdf 

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