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Polyommatus nivescens

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA LEPIDOPTERA LYCAENIDAE

Scientific Name: Polyommatus nivescens
Species Authority: (Keferstein, 1851)
Common Name(s):
English Mother-of-pearl Blue
Synonym(s):
Lycaena nivescens Keferstein, 1851

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-29
Assessor(s): van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.
Reviewer(s): Lewis, O. (Butterfly RLA) & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)
Justification:
The Climatic Risk Atlas (Settele et al., 2008) calculates a possible decline of  more than 98% of the climate envelope between 1980 and 2080 based on the most pessimistic of the three climate change models used (GRAS-scenario). This species is classified as Near Threatened because (i) observed rates of CO² emissions and temperature increases already exceed those foreseen in the worst-case scenario models and (ii) it is appropriate to take a precautionary approach. The species might be endangered in the long term by climate change.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a scattered distribution across Spain, particularly in the east: from the south (vicinity of Granada and Murcia), via central Spain (area of Sierra de Guadarrama, surroundings of Cuenca and Teruel) to the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mts. It occurs between 200-2,100 m elevation. This is a European endemic species.
Countries:
Native:
Spain
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Mother-of-pearl Blue occurs in flower-rich grasslands and on warm, dry chalk rocks with scattered patches of grassy vegetation and occasional bushes. The female lays its eggs on the leaves of Kidney-vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), seeming to prefer smaller plants. The small caterpillars go into hibernation and after feeding and growing further, they pupate at the end of the spring on the ground. The caterpillars are attended by ants of the species Tapinoma nigerrimum. The Mother-of-pearl Blue has one generation a year. Habitats include dry calcareous grasslands and steppes (33%), inland cliff sand exposed rocks (33%), sclerophyllous scrub (33%).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: All butterflies are collected to some extent, but only for the extremely rare species it can be a problem and the trade in Europe is generally at a low level compared to other continents. There is no specific trade information for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Direct short-term threats come from large scale wood plantations (Eucalyptus). In the longer term this species might become threatened because of climate change.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More research is needed on the distribution and ecology of the species. Suitable habitats should be protected and appropriately managed. The effects of conservation actions should be monitored by a Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. If a climate change related decline is observed, ecological research must determine what conservation measures should be untertaken to safeguard the species.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Polyommatus nivescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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