IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackNysius atlantidum Horvath, 1990

Nysius atlantidum Horvath, 1990

Ground bug (English); Percevejo das sementes (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera Heteroptera
  • Family: Lygaeidae
LC Least Concern
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Danielczak, A.

Contributor/s:
Lamelas-Lopez, L.

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Nysius atlantidum is an endemic ground bug species present in six islands of the Azorean archipelago (Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Terceira, São Miguel and Santa Maria) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a relatively small area of occupancy (AOO = 64 km²), but a large extent of occurrence (EOO = ca 35,000 km²). It is usually associated with Erica azorica shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. The quality of the habitat is decreasing due to the spread of invasive species (Hedychium gardnerianum) that is changing the habitat structure. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts). The species is assessed as Least Concern (LC) due to the widespread distribution and adaptation to low altitude human modified habitats.

Geographic Range:

Nysius atlantidum is an endemic ground bug species present in six islands of the Azorean archipelago (Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Terceira, São Miguel and Santa Maria) (Borges et al.2010). Within these six islands it is known from three Natural Forest Reserves: Morro Alto e Pico da Sé (Flores); Cabeço do Fogo (Faial) and Pico Alto (Sta. Maria). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is ca 35,000 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 64 km².

Regions:
Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
35000 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
64 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
0 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
600 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Palearctic
Presence:
Extant
Origin:
Endemic Azores
Seasonality:
Resident

Population:

Nysius atlantidum is widespread and abundant in several islands, occurring mostly in native vegetation but also in exotic or naturalised vegetation. This species has probably a stable population.

Habitat and Ecology

Nysius atlantidum occurs mostly in native vegetation but also in exotic (e.g. Orchards) or naturalised vegetation. It is usually associated with Erica azorica shrubs and herbaceous vegetation mostly in coastal areas. This is a phytophagous species with day activity.

Major Threat(s):

In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality (Triantis et al. 2010). However, the species seems to have survived in the remaining native forests and shrublands of several islands, as well as in some Human modified habitats. The main current threat is the spread of invasive species namely Hedychium gardnerianum. 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 Flores, Faial  and S. Maria). Further research is needed to monitor the species and conservation measures to control the invasive Hedychium gardnerianumshould be implemented to improve habitat quality for this species.  Additional  research is needed into its ecology and life history in order to understand its dynamics. 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. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2010).