IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group


BackPholcus madeirensis Wunderlich, 1987

Pholcus madeirensis Wunderlich, 1987

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Pholcidae
LC Least Concern
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Madeira


Henriques, S. & Russell, N.


Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

Pholcus madeirensis is endemic to Madeira Island, Portugal. This species has a restricted geographic range with a maximum estimate of extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) of ca 800 km². However, Pholcus madeirensis is assessed as Least Concern (LC), since the known, preferred habitat of the species, humid laurisilva forest, is not experiencing any decline in area or quality and the population is therefore assumed to be stable. A monitoring of population trends should be conducted to confirm species status and research on the distribution and habitat is needed.

Geographic Range:

Pholcus madeirensis was first described from the southern slopes of Madeira (Portugal), including near Funchal, in undescribed habitat (Wunderlich 1987). More recently it was found in several laurisilva forest sites of the northern slopes. Multiple collection sites are recorded for the species, mostly recent and in laurisilva forest (Wunderlich, 1987, unpublished). It was possible to perform species distribution modelling to predict its potential range with confidence limits (Cardoso et al. 2017). The extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) have a maximum estimate of ca 800 km².

Portugal - Madeira
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
47-761,332 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
12-752,332 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
Elevation Upper Limit:
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Madeira


No population size estimates exist, but the population is assumed to be stable.

Habitat and Ecology

Pholcus madeirensis inhabits mainly humid laurisilva forest on the northern slopes of Madeira Island, but also known from the southern slopes in undescribed habitat. The ecology of this species is unknown but it is almost certainly a tangle-web builder feeding on small arthropods.

Major Threat(s):

There are no known threats to the species.

Conservation Actions

No specific conservation measures are in place for the species, but part of its range is inside the Madeira Natural Park. Monitoring of population trends should be conducted to confirm species status. As the preferred habitat outside laurisilva forest is unknown, research on distribution and preferred habitats should be a priority.