IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group


BackSyrphoctonus morio Hellén, 1949

Syrphoctonus morio Hellén, 1949

Ichneumon fly

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Ichneumonidae
EN Endangered
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores


Russell, N.


Facilitators / Compilers/s:

Assessment Rationale:

Syrphoctonus morio is an endemic ichneumonid wasp species of the Azores (Portugal), known from the islands of Pico, S. Jorge and Terceira. From the historical data, this species has a small Extent of Occurrence (EOO = 700 km2) and Area of Occupancy (AOO = 80 km2), and based on the area of impact of threats it may be at only a very small number of locations. Given that some sites of its description are disturbed, 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, life history and indigenous host species. However, because the known EOO and AOO of the species are relatively small, with a small number of locations and declining habitat quality, S. morio is assessed as Endangered. Conservation/restoration of native habitats, as well as invasive plant species control, could potentially aid this species' conservation.

Geographic Range:

Syrphoctonus morio is an Azorean-endemic ichneumonid wasp species described from Pico, S. Jorge and Terceira islands (Azores, Portugal). It was collected in some currently disturbed habitats. Based on the data from the 1938 expedition of Frey, Stora and Cedercreutz, the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is ca. 700 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) is ca. 80 km². There is no recent information regarding the distribution of this species.

Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
Elevation Lower Limit:
10 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
2000 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Endemic Azores


There are no available data on the population size and trend of this species.

Habitat and Ecology

The ecology and traits of this species are unknown. Other ichneumonid wasps from the subfamily Diplazontinae are koinobiont endoparasitoids of Syrphidae. Oviposition is usually into the egg or larvae of the syrphid flies, with emergence of the adult wasp from the puparium (Goulet and Huber, 1993). Species from this subfamily are mostly Holartic (Goulet and Huber, 1993). This species was described generically from Pico Mountain and also from sites with urban areas or semi-natural pastures.

Major Threat(s):

This species might be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016). Given that some of the areas from where this species was described were and are currently disturbed, it can be assumed that habitat degradation caused by past and present human disturbance and land use changes, or by invasive species might also potentially affect or have affected this species or its indigenous hosts.

Conservation Actions

This species is not protected by regional law. Further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history as well as into its hosts. Conservation/restoration of native habitats, as well as invasive plant 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 Pico and Terceira.