IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group


BackNoctua carvalhoi (Pinker, 1983)

Noctua carvalhoi (Pinker, 1983)

Moth (English); Traça (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Noctuidae
NT Near Treatened
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores


Danielczak, A.

Nunes, R. & Lamelas-Lopez, L.

Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

Noctua carvalhoi is an endemic species present in Flores, Faial, Pico, S. Jorge and Terceira islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a relatively small area of occupancy (AOO = 100 km²) and a large extent of occurrence (EOO = ca 10,900  km²). The species can be found in native forest fragments, but also in the habitats which are dominated by forest plantations and patches of semi-natural and exotic vegetation. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will decline as a consequence of climate change. The species is assessed as Near Threatened (NT) due to small AOO and decline in habitat quality.

Geographic Range:

Noctua carvalhoi is an endemic species present in Flores, Faial, Pico, S. Jorge and Terceira islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known from laurel forest (with ferns, Calluna vulgaris and mosses) but also in other areas of exotic and naturalised plants (Wagner 2015). Within these five islands it is known from three Natural Forest Reserves of Caldeira do Faial and Cabeço do Fogo (Faial) and Biscoito da Ferraria (Terceira). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is ca 10,900 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 100 km².

Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
10900 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
100 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
50 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
1000 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Azores


This species is low abundant in Flores, Faial, Pico, S. Jorge and Terceira islands (Azores), occurring mostly in the native vegetation at medium and high elevations of these islands, but also in exotic vegetation. This species presents a stable population.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs mostly in areas of native forest, but also at their surroundings and in other modified biotopes. The larvae are polyphagous on herbs and small shrubs like Rubus spp., being recorded on Scrophularia  spp. and Rubus spp. in Flores Island; they feed at night and immature stages occur from autumn to spring and larvae mature between early March and early May; the adult flies in summer and seem to aestivate (Wagner 2017). Altitudinal range: 50-1000 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 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. Its habitat is in regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Faial, Flores, Pico, S. Jorge). Further research is needed into its ecology and life history in order to learn about the ecological requirements of the species and the feeding substrate of the larva, and 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).