IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackExechia atlantis Stora, 1945

Exechia atlantis Stora, 1945

Fungus gnat

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Diptera
  • Family: Mycetophilidae
DD Data Deficient
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Russel, N.

Contributor/s:

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Exechia atlantis is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), that was described from S. Miguel island. This species was collected in a single area of exotic (production) forest, in a site that is currently degraded. From the historical data, this species would have a very small Extent of Occurrence (4 km2) and Area of Occupancy (4 km2); and it is possible that this species has declined in the past, as a result of human activity. However, the present situation of this species needs to be assessed, and further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. Conservation/restoration of native habitats and humid areas could potentially aid this species conservation. Based upon the lack of recent in data regarding this species population, distribution, threats and ecology, this species is assessed as Data Deficient (DD). 

Geographic Range:

Exechia atlantis is an Azorean-endemic fly species that was described from the island S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known from a single site, Lagoa do Congro, a disturbed location in production forest. Based on the old historical data (Frey 1945), the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) would be ca. 4 km² and Area of Occupancy (AOO) would also be ca. 4 km². However, there is no recent information regarding the distribution of this species.

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

Population:

No current population size estimates exist for this species.

Current Population Trend: Unknown 

Habitat and Ecology

The ecology and traits of this species are unknown. Mycetophilidae occur mainly in humid areas like moist forests (McAlpine et al. 1981), but also are quite common in swamps. Others live in the moister parts of heath and open grassland and some species have been recorded on mosses and liverworts. The larvae of many species live in fleshy or woody fungi or in dead wood and usually feed on fungi, especially the fruiting bodies, but also spores and hyphae. Nevertheless, the larvae of some species, while still being associated with fungi, are at least partly predatory (McAlpine et al. 1981). A few species are monophagous or polyphagous, but the majority of species are restricted to particular genera or families of fungi. Pupation usually takes place in the ground but some species pupate in the host fungus (McAlpine et al. 1981). When known, larvae of the genus Exechia develop in soft fungi, like agarics (Chandler and Ribeiro 1995). This species was collected in an area of production forest (Cryptomeria japonica).

Systems: Terrestrial 

Major Threat(s):

A lack of information regarding the present status of this species precludes an assessment of potential threats. Nevertheless, the ecology of other members of the Mycetophilidae family suggests that this species might be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al., 2016) and increased droughts. Past human disturbance and land use changes might have also affected this species. 

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law. 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. From what is known of habitat its preferences, conservation of native habitats and natural water bodies could potentially aid this species conservation. Historically, this species was present in one area that is currently disturbed, but included in the Natural Park of S. Miguel.