Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Macrocera azorica is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), known from Faial, Pico S. Jorge and S. Miguel islands. From the historical data, this species has a relatively small extent of occurrence (EOO = 4,075 km2) and a limited area of occupancy (AOO = 60 km2); and it is possible that this species has declined in the past as a result of human activity. The present situation of this species needs to be assessed and further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. However, the EOO and AOO of the species are relatively small, on the global scale, and if there were more data available it is possible that the species could qualify as threatened under criterion B. Therefore, it is assessed here as Near Threatened. Conservation/restoration of native forests and heathlands and of native wet and boggy areas, as well as invasive plant species control, could potentially aid this species' conservation.
Macrocera azorica is an Azorean-endemic species described from the islands of Faial, Pico, S. Jorge and S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), and known from several native habitats. Based on the historical data (Frey 1945), the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) could be ca. 4,075 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) could be ca. 60 km². However, there is no recent information regarding the distribution of this species.
No current population size estimates exist for this species.
The ecology and traits of this species are unknown. Species of the family Keroplatidae are primarily forest dwellers, present in a variety of ecosystems (most common in more tropical, moist regions), usually in association with fungi. Adults are mostly found in dark, damp places, sometimes in caves, in low vegetation, under overhanging rocks and trunks or along stream banks (Evenhuis 2006). Larvae also inhabit damp, dark places including caves and deeply hollowed cavities under stones or fallen trunks. Larvae are predaceous or mycophagous, spinning hygroscopic webs to collect spores or invertebrate prey. Predaceous species kill their prey with an acid fluid secreted by labial glands and deposited in the droplets of the web (Evenhuis 2006). Macrocera azorica specimens have been collected on marshy meadows and near streams, in native forest and in native heathland.
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 Keroplatidae family and the locations where this species was collected suggests that this species might be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016) and increased droughts. This species has also been collected in some areas of native forest that are currently suffering habitat degradation by invasive species. Past human disturbance and land use changes possibly might have also have had some effect on this species.
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 its habitat preferences, conservation of native forests and heathland, and of native wet and boggy areas, as well as invasive species control, could potentially aid this species' conservation. Historically at least, this species was present in areas that are currently included in the Natural Parks of Faial, Pico and S. Miguel."