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Osmoderma barnabita

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA COLEOPTERA CETONIIDAE

Scientific Name: Osmoderma barnabita
Species Authority: Motschulsky, 1845
Synonym(s):
Osmoderma barnabita
Taxonomic Notes:

The Osmoderma species complex is here treated as five separate species (barnabita, eremita, cristinae, italica and lassallei), following Audisio et al. (2007, 2008). Distribution limits of these different forms remain poorly resolved, but for the purpose of these assessments we follow the approximate distribution limits outlined in Audisio et al. (2007, 2008). There is ongoing debate as to whether or not these forms constitute valid species, but for the purpose of this assessment we are assessing each form separately.

According to Lobl and Smetana (2006) O. barnabita is synonym of O. coriarium.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-05
Assessor(s): Alexander, K., Buche, B., Dodelin, B. & Schlaghamersky, J.
Reviewer(s): Alexander, K. & Nieto, A.
Justification:
European regional assessment: assessed as Near Threatened. It is entirely dependent upon veteran trees as it inhabits decaying heartwood. This is a very specific habitat type which is already highly fragmented and subject to continuing significant decline. Although this species has a relatively wide distribution, its area of occupancy is small as it is only found in veteran trees which are scattered across the landscape at very low densities. The area of occupancy of this species has not been quantified, but it may not be much greater than 2,000 km². The rate of loss of veteran trees has not been quantified, but it is significant, and it may potentially exceed 20% in the next ten years (= three generations). Moreover, there is very little regeneration of suitable habitat across the species' range. Once the existing veteran trees have died, there will be no replacements in many areas. Even if efforts are made now to re-plant appropriate tree species, there may still be a 'gap' during which time there would be very little suitable habitat available. Action is urgently needed to protect and appropriately manage existing veteran trees, as well as to ensure that suitable habitat continues to be available in future.

It would be necessary to clarify the area of occupancy in some countries and rate of decline, in order to determine conclusively whether Least Concern or Near Threatened is the more appropriate category; in the absence of such quantitative data the precautionary approach has been taken.

Some experts considered that an assessment of Data Deficient on the grounds of taxonomic uncertainty would be a more appropriate assessment for this taxon (and for other taxa within the Osmoderma eremita species-complex).

EU 27 regional assessment: assessed as Near Threatened. It is entirely dependent upon veteran trees as it inhabits decaying heartwood. This is a very specific habitat type which is already highly fragmented and subject to continuing significant decline. Although this species has a relatively wide distribution, its area of occupancy is small as it is only found in veteran trees which are scattered across the landscape at very low densities. The area of occupancy of this species has not been quantified, but it may not be much greater than 2,000 km². The rate of loss of veteran trees has not been quantified, but it is significant, and it may potentially exceed 20% in the next ten years (= three generations). Moreover, there is very little regeneration of suitable habitat across the species' range. Once the existing veteran trees have died, there will be no replacements in many areas. Even if efforts are made now to re-plant appropriate tree species, there may still be a 'gap' during which time there would be very little suitable habitat available. Action is urgently needed to protect and appropriately manage existing veteran trees, as well as to ensure that suitable habitat continues to be available in future.

It would be necessary to clarify the area of occupancy in some countries and rate of decline, in order to determine conclusively whether Least Concern or Near Threatened is the more appropriate category; in the absence of such quantitative data the precautionary approach has been taken.

Some experts considered that an assessment of Data Deficient on the grounds of taxonomic uncertainty would be a more appropriate assessment for this taxon (and for other taxa within the Osmoderma eremita species-complex).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from central and eastern Europe, and western Russia (Audisio et al. 2007). However its distribution limits are poorly resolved and further research is needed to clarify the taxonomic status and distribution limits. In Ukraine it is present in the Carpathian Mountains and in the northern part of forest-steppe zones. In Romania it is widespread in the southern Carpathians, but also, in the hilly part of central Romania (P. Istrate pers. comm. 2009). In Finland the identity of the Osmoderma is not entirely clear, so far; there is only one confirmed population.
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Austria; Belarus; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; Finland; Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia); Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Ukraine (Ukraine (main part))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

There is little information available on the abundance of this species but it is believed to be declining in Europe. In Hungary all known populations are small and isolated (O. Merkl pers. comm. 2009). In Ukraine it is very rare. In the Czech Republic is quite widespread; known from 50-100 recent sites. In Finland there is one stable population. In Romania there are large populations in the oak and beech forests from the foothills of the southern Carpathians (P. Istrate pers. comm. 2009).

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is an obligate saproxylic species. This species is restricted to decaying heartwood; it is found only in large, old veteran trees of a variety of broad-leaved species (including oak Quercus, willow Salix, beech Fagus, fruit trees Malus, Prunus and Pyrus, and lime Tilia) in both relatively open old-growth woodland and traditional cultural landscapes. This species has very poor dispersal capacity (it is a weak flier), and consequently linear habitat features (e.g. avenues of ancient trees) are critically important for retaining connectivity and viable populations. The larvae develop in accumulations of wood mould in hollow living trees, usually trunks and main boughs with large cavities containing large volumes of wood mould, primarily derived from natural fungal decay of the dead heartwood. Larvae normally take two years to develop, longer where conditions not optimal. Suitable trees may occur in a wide variety of situations where trees have been retained into maturity and old age, for a variety of reasons. (K.N.A. Alexander pers. comm. 2009). In Hungary the strongest populations are in very old willow galleries; others are in mature oak forests (O. Merkl pers. comm. 2009). In Romania, in the southern Carpathians, it occurs in clear oak and beech forests from sun exposed slopes where large trees with big hollows occur. In the central part of the country it was found in the pastures with old oaks with large hollows (P. Istrate pers. comm. 2009).


Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Saproxylic Coleoptera tend to be popular with beetle collectors although trade is rarely an issue, the only exceptions being a few larger species of more dramatic form or colour.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species is restricted to veteran trees, so any activities which destroy these trees (e.g. cutting down avenues) is strongly detrimental to the species. The main overall threat is likely to be degradation or loss of habitat quality, involving structural changes in the tree populations arising from changing land use – affecting age structures and tree density. Exploitation from forestry is often a key immediate issue, but equally damaging can be long-term changes towards canopy closure and loss of ancient trees as a result of non- or minimum-intervention management systems which all too often exclude grazing by large herbivores. Fragmentation and increasing isolation of beetle populations are also key factors. In particular, in Hungary, very old trees are threatened all over the country; the known localities are threatened by over-collecting and destroying microhabitats (O. Merkl pers. comm. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many known sites are in protected areas (there is an obligation under the EU Habitats Directive to designate protected areas for this species). The key conservation measure to be recommended is the protection and appropriate management of ancient and veteran trees (wherever they occur, including in cultural landscapes and urban areas), and measures to ensure that such habitat continues to be available in future. For this poorly-dispersing species, measures to retain connectivity between habitat fragments are essential to ensure long-term survival. In Ukraine it is included in the Red Book and is listed as Vulnerable species. The species is recorded inside protected areas (e.g. Hungary, Romania).

Citation: Alexander, K., Buche, B., Dodelin, B. & Schlaghamersky, J. 2010. Osmoderma barnabita. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 August 2014.
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