Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Culiseta atlantica is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), known from Pico and S. Miguel islands. From the historical data, this species potentially has a very small Extent of Occurrence (464 km2) and Area of Occupancy (24 km2); and it is possible that this species has declined in the past as a result of human activity. 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 of small natural lakes and pools 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).
Culiseta atlantica is an Azorean-endemic species described from the islands of Pico and S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), and is known from some currently disturbed habitats. Based on historical data and a more recent study (Ramos and Ribeiro 1980), the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) would be ca. 464 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) would be ca. 24 km². However, there is no further recent information regarding the distribution of this species, and the actual full distribution of the species is unknown.
No current population size estimates exist for this species, and the overall population size and trend are essentially unknown. Current Population Trend: Unknown.
Culicidae larvae and pupae are aquatic and active swimmers, developing mainly in a wide variety of standing water habitats (temporary pools, water in discarded containers, saltmarshes, treeholes and so forth) (McAlpine et al. 1981), while some species lay eggs in very slow moving streams and brooks. Male and female adults feed on nectar and plant juices. Females on the blood of mammals and of other vertebrates (McAlpine et al. 1981). The larvae of some species are predaceous on other mosquito larvae (McAlpine et al. 1981), while others feed on algae, protozoans, and organic debris filtered from the water. Worldwide, females of Culicidae are major vectors of serious diseases (McAlpine et al. 1981). In the more recent data (Ramos and Ribeiro 1980), Culiseta atlantica immatures were found in rock pools, in dark brown water with decaying leaves of several native and introduced vegetation and in association with other mosquito species larvae. Systems: Terrestrial, Freshwater (=Inland waters).
A lack of information regarding the present status of this species precludes an assessment of potential threats. Nevertheless, from what is known of the Culicidae family and given that this species immatures were found in rock pools, it suggests that this species might be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016) and increased droughts. It can also be assumed that habitat degradation caused by past and present human activities and land use changes, or contamination of surface waters with pesticides can also affect this species.
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 of natural small lakes and pools could potentially aid this species' conservation. Historically at least, this species was present in one area that is currently highly disturbed, but included in the Natural Park of S. Miguel.