IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackPhlogophora kruegeri Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2006

Phlogophora kruegeri Saldaitis & Ivinskis, 2006

Owlet Moth (English); Traça (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Noctuidae
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:

Phlogophora kruegeri is a single island endemic species from Flores island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a very small extent of occurrence (EOO = 8 km²) and area of occupancy (AOO = 8 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. Main recent past and ongoig threats are the invasive plants Hydrangea macrophylla and Hedychium gardnerianum that are changing the habitat. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts). 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:

Phlogophora kruegeri is a single island endemic species present in Flores island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), occurring in highland biotopes of Juniperus brevifolia woodland forest (e.g. Caldeira Rasa, Marcela) (Saldaitis and Ivinskis 2006). The species occurs in a single Natural Forest Reserve: Caldeiras Funda e Rasa (Flores). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 8 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 8 km².

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

Population:

This species is still relatively abundant in Flores island, occurring mostly in highland Juniperus brevifolia woodland wet habitats with grass and Sphagnum spp. moss (Saldaitis and Ivinskis 2006). A decline is probable due to the degradation of habitat caused by human activities and invasions of alien plants. Habitat destruction and invasive plants can drive this species to extinction very fast.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs mostly in typical highland wet Juniperus brevifolia woodland habitats with native grasses and mosses on Flores island (Saldaitis and Ivinskis, 2006). Possibly, it is a polyphagous herbivore, and adults are nearly always present, except in winter, with a maximum of individuals being attracted readily to light from July to August.

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 (mostly Hydrangea macrophylla 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) with the expansion of other plants and potential threats to the species. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughtsincreasing number of droughts and habitat shifting & alteration).

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law. Its habitat is in a regionally protected area (Natural Park of Flores). 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).