IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group


BackCixius azoterceirae Remane & Asche, 1979

Cixius azoterceirae Remane & Asche, 1979

Tree lacehopper (English)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera Fulgoromorpha
  • Family: Cixiidae
VU Vulnerable
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores


Danielczak, A.

Lamelas-Lopez, L.

Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

Cixius azoterceirae is an endemic tree lacehopper from Terceira Island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), being known from all five Natural Forest Reserves of the islands. It has a relatively small extent of occurrence (EOO = 341 km²) and area of occupancy (AOO = 236 km²). The species is abundant and  known from at least nine fragmented subpopulations. In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality. The main threat to this species will be the habitat decline as a consequence of invasive species and climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016). Based upon the small extent of occurrence, decreasing quality of the habitat and low number of subpopulations it is assessed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range:

Cixius azoterceirae is an endemic tree lacehopper from Terceira Island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). The species is known from all five Natural Forest Reserves of Terceira (Biscoito da Ferraria, Pico Galhardo, Caldeira Guilherme Moniz, Caldeira Sta. Bárbara e Mistérios Negros and Terra Brava. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 341 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 236 km².

Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
341 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
236 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
10 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
1100 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Azores


Cixius azoterceirae is widespread and abundant in Terceira Island, occurring mostly in native vegetation but also in exotic or naturalised vegetation.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs mainly in the Azorean native forest. It is a generalist diurnal canopy phytophagous species that has been found on different native plants, but also in some exotic plants. 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 (Triantis et al. 2010, Terzopoulou et al. 2015). However, the species seems to have survived in the remaining native forests of Terceira, as well as in some Human modified habitats. The main current threat is the spread of invasive species namely Hedychium gardnerianum and Pittosporum undulatum. 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 a regionally protected area (Natural Park of Terceira). Further research is needed to monitor the species and conservation measures to control the invasive plant Hedychium gardnerianum should be implemented to improve habitat quality for this species. 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).