IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackParachipetria floresiana Pérez-Íñigo, 1992

Parachipetria floresiana Pérez-Íñigo, 1992

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Acari: Oribatida
  • Family: Achipteriidae
DD Data Deficient
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Danielczak, A.

Contributor/s:

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Parachipteria floresiana is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), known from the islands of Flores, Terceira and S. Miguel. From the available data, it would have a relatively small Extent of Occurrence (12,293 km2 ), and a very small Area of Occupancy (28 km2 ), but these are is likely to be underestimates, as this species probably has a wider distribution through the soil component of the islands. It can be assumed that this species is affected by human activities and invasive plant species that alter the natural structure and composition of the soil; and future climatic changes and increased risk of droughts will also affect this species. 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; while conservation of natural habitats and invasive species control could potentially aid this species' conservation. Despite the seemingly widespread nature of this species, based upon the incomplete knowledge 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).

Geographic Range:

Parachipteria floresiana is an Azorean-endemic oribatid mite species known from Flores, Terceira and S. Miguel islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known from natural and disturbed areas. It is present in four Natural Forest Reserves; Caldeiras Funda e Rasa and Morro Alto e Pico da Sé (Flores), Caldeira Sta. Bárbara e Mistérios Negros (Terceira) and Pico da Vara (Tronqueira) (S. Miguel). From the available data, the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) would be ca. 12,293 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) would be 28 km². 

Regions:
Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
12,293 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
28 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
(m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
(m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Palearctic
Presence:
Extant
Origin:
Endemic Azores
Seasonality:
Resident

Population:

No current population size estimates exist for this species. As an oribatid mite, it is possibly common and widespread in the soil habitat. Current Population Trend: Unknown. 

Habitat and Ecology

The ecology and traits of this species are unknown. Oribatid mites are associated with organic matter in most terrestrial ecosystems, being found throughout the soil profile, in surface litter, on grasses, shrubs or in the bark and leaves of trees, among other habitats. Oribatida are also one of the most numerically dominant arthropod groups in the organic horizons of most soils (Behan-Pelletier 1999). This species has been found mainly in native vegetation areas, but also in a more disturbed area. Some specimens from Faial were collected from a Cryptomeria japonica (production) forest. Systems: Terrestrial.

Major Threat(s):

A lack of information regarding the present range of this species precludes an assessment of potential threats. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that this species will be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016) and increased droughts. This species has been found in areas of native vegetation but also in disturbed areas, and it can be assumed that factors that degrade habitat quality, in the form of changes in the soil structure and composition (namely land use changes, agricultural practices or invasive plants) might also affect this species.

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law, but part of its habitat is in regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Flores, Terceira and S. Miguel). Besides climate change and increased risk of droughts, land-use changes and invasive species are likely one of the main current and future threats faced. As such, conservation of native habitats and invasive species control could potentially aid this species' conservation. Further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history; and it is necessary to develop a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in order to contribute to the conservation of this species.