Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Mycetophila atlantica is an endemic fly species of the Azores (Portugal), known from S. Jorge, Terceira and S. Miguel islands. This species has been collected from sites that are currently highly degraded. From the historical data, this species potentially has a small Extent of Occurrence (6,030 km2) and Area of Occupancy (92 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 further assessed, and further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. Conservation of native habitats and humid areas could potentially aid this species' conservation. Based upon the lack of recent data regarding this species' population, distribution, threats and ecology, it is not possible to accurately estimate the extinction risk of the species and it could theoretically fall into any category. Therefore, this species is assessed as Data Deficient (DD).
Mycetophila atlantica is an Azorean-endemic fly species described from the islands of S. Jorge, Terceira and S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). This species has been collected in some sites that are currently highly degraded. Based on the historical data (Frey 1945), the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) could be ca. 6,030 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) could be ca. 92 km². However, there is no recent information regarding the distribution of this species, and the actual full distribution of the species is unknown.
No current population size estimates exist for this species, and the overall population size and trend are essentially unknown.
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, while some species live in the moister parts of heath and open grassland and other 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). In one site, this species has been collected on wet arboreal ferns and some other sites are in the vicinity of fresh water bodies.
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. This species was collected from several highly disturbed sites, so past and present human disturbance and land use changes, coupled with habitat degradation by invasive species might have also affected it.
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, conservation of natural habitats water bodies and other wet areas, together with problematic 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 Terceira and S. Miguel, albeit in disturbed areas.