IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackStrophingia harteni Hodkinson, 1981

Strophingia harteni Hodkinson, 1981

Jumping plant lice (English)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera Sternorrhyncha
  • Family: Psyllidae
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:

Strophingia harteni is an endemic heather-feeding psyllid species present in the nine islands of the Azorean archipelago  (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a relatively small area of ocupancy (AOO = 284 km²), but a large extent of ocurrence (EOO = ca 43,000 km²). It is usually associated with native forest, occurring in fifteen Natural Forest Reserves of Azores. It is a specialist phytophagous species, closely associated with Erica azorica. Individuals of this species are relatively immobile and poor flyers. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will decline as a consequence of climate change. The species is assessed as Least Concern (LC) due to the widespread distribution and high abundance in the canopies of Erica azorica, having also a high range of altitude occupancy (0-2100 m).

Geographic Range:

Strophingia harteni is an endemic heather-feeding psyllid species present in the nine islands of the Azorean archipelago (Borges et al. 2010). Within these nine islands it is known from fifteen Natural Forest Reserves of Caldeiras Funda e Rasa (Flores); Caldeira do Faial and Cabeço do Fogo (Faial); Mistério da Prainha, Caveiro and Caiado (Pico); Pico Pinheiro and Topo (S. Jorge); Biscoito da Ferraria, Pico Galhardo, Caldeira Guilherme Moniz, Caldeira Sta. Bárbara e Mistérios Negros and Terra Brava (Terceira); Pico da Vara (S. Miguel) and Pico Alto (Sta. Maria). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is ca 43,000 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 248 km².

Regions:
Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
43000 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
248 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
0 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
2100 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Palearctic
Presence:
Extant
Origin:
Endemic Azores
Seasonality:
Resident

Population:

Strophingia harteni is a widespread and abundant species. The species presents a stable population and exists on all nine islands. We assume no impact for the population.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs mainly in the Azorean native forest and heathlands. It is a specialist diurnal canopy phytophagous species, closely associated with Erica azorica. Individuals of this species are relatively immobile and poor flyers. There is also a tendency to form population isolates (Hodkinson 1981).  Based on seasonal data from SLAM traps obtained in several islands between 2012 and 2016, the adults are active all year, being most abundant in spring and summer (Borges et al. 2017).

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 and pulp plantations of Cryptomeria japonica(Triantis et al. 2010). Currently invasive plants Hydrangea macrophylla, Pittosporum undulatum and Hedychium gardnerianum are changing some of the areas and decreasing the quality of the habitat. 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 Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Pico, S. Jorge, Terceira, S. Miguel and Sta. Maria). 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).