IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackEuphthiracarus excultus Pérez-íñigo, 1987

Euphthiracarus excultus Pérez-íñigo, 1987

Mite

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Acari: Oribatida
  • Family: Euphthiracaridae
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:

 Euphthiracarus excultus is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), described from one disturbed location on Sta. Maria island. From the species' description, it would have a very small Extent of Occurrence (8 km2) and Area of Occupancy (8 km2), which are likely underestimates, as this species probably has a wider distribution through the soil component of the island. It can be assumed that this species is affected by human activities and invasive plant species which alter the natural structure and composition of the soil. 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; but conservation of natural habitats and invasive species control could potentially aid this species conservation. Based upon the incomplete knowledge regarding this species population, distribution, threats and ecology, this species is assessed as Data Deficient (DD).

Geographic Range:

Euphthiracarus excultus is an endemic oribatid mite species of Sta. Maria island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), described from the one location. From the species description, the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) would be ca 8 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) would be 8 km².

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

Population:

No current population size estimates exist for this species. As an oribatid mite, this species is likely 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). Euphthiracarus excultus specimens were collected from under Erica azorica, Viburnum tinus and Hedychium gardnerianum plants.

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. Other factors that affect habitat quality like land use changes, urbanisation, pesticides and nutrient loads or invasive plants might also affect this species.

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law, and it was collected in an area of native vegetation disturbed by invasive species. Land-use changes are likely one of the main current and future threats, and 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. It is necessary to develop a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in order to contribute to the conservation of this species.