IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackHomoeosoma picoensis Meyer, Nuss & Speidel, 1997

Homoeosoma picoensis Meyer, Nuss & Speidel, 1997

Moth (English); Traça (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Pyralidae
CR Critically Endangered
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:

Homoeosoma picoensis is a single island endemic species restricted to Pico island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a very small extent of occurrence (EOO = 4 km²) and area of occupancy (AOO = 4 km²). There is a continuing decline in the EOO, AOO, extent and quality of habitat as well as the number of mature individuals as a result of major land-use change in the last 100 years and recent intensification in cattle production. Main recent past and ongoig threats are the invasive plants Pittosporum undulatum and Hedychium gardnerianum that are changing the habitat. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will decline as a consequence of climate change. Based upon the small geographic range of the species with only one location and continuing decline of its habitat area and quality, it is assessed as Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range:

Homoeosoma picoensis is a single island endemic species restricted to Pico island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known from semi-natural grassland and endemic plants at Furna Frei Matias Mistério (900 m asl; Meyer et al. 1997). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 4 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 4 km².

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

Population:

Homoeosoma picoensis is scattered and low abundant in Pico island, occurring mostly in native vegetation but also in naturalized plants.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs mostly in areas of native vegetation at medium and high elevations of the Pico island. Preferably, the larvae are supposed to feed on the Asteraceae plants. We assume that this species is a specialist herbivore, and flies in July (Meyer et al. 1997). Altitudinal range: 700-900 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). Currently cattle production and invasive plants Pittosporum undulatum and Hedychium gardnerianum 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 (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 Park of Pico). Further 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. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2010).