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Apteromantis aptera

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA MANTODEA MANTIDAE

Scientific Name: Apteromantis aptera
Species Authority: (Fuente, 1894)
Common Name(s):
English Wingless Mantis
Synonym(s):
Ameles aptera Fuente, 1894

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-03-17
Assessor(s): Battiston, R.
Reviewer(s): Hochkirch, A., Bushell, M. & Bazelet, C.
Justification:
Apteromantis aptera is a rare mantis with discontinuous distribution and the reduction of Mediterranean habitats may threaten it in the future; however, at the present time it is widespread in the Iberian peninsula and this grants a good resistance to this threat. In recent years, since the last assessment, its presence has been recorded in many new localities, almost doubling its EOO. Now it is not only a Spanish endemic but its presence is also well known in Portugal. Complete data on distribution, the main population trends and ecology are still scarce or absent but the quality of information has been locally improved in recent years, giving a good general point of view on this species. Due to these changes in the knowledge base for this species it is felt that the category for this species should be downgraded from Vulnerable to Least Concern.
History:
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Apteromantis aptera is distributed in the Mediterranean, where it is found in central and south Spain and Portugal. 
Countries:
Native:
Portugal; Spain
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Some populations of A. aptera have been studied in southern Spain, mostly in Andalucía, however the main population trends are unknown.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A. aptera is an entomophagous insect with a univoltine life-cycle. Between 30-40 eggs are laid in a rigid foam ootheca. These usually hatch from late June to August and overwinter as nymphs. The distribution of A. aptera is discontinuous, limited to central-southern Spain and Portugal in scrubland, maquis and garrigue-phrygana habitats. A. aptera seems to prefer small plants in dry and sunny hills in a wide altitudinal range, from sea level to 1300 m. In central Spain, A. aptera occurs in thermophile areas, in undisturbed and open patches of Quercus ilex “dehesas”, pine forest edges, hedgerows in cereal fields, old vineyards and along roads and path sides in pseudosteppe agricultural lands. They also occur in patches of old wasteland with mature ruderal vegetation and in treeless areas with herbaceous vegetation around small lagoons and along streams. Microhabitats include tall green and dense grasses, hedgerows and other vegetation patches of old ruderal fields with a wide variety of herbaceous plant species, from communities of Phoeniculum vulgare and Daucus carota to dry saline steppes of Suaeda vera. Most individuals, particularly the females, are generally found on bare ground amid the cover of sparse vegetation.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): A. aptera is threatened by habitat loss, especially the Mediterranean ecosystem, through the abandonment of pastoral systems and the use of pesticides.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A. aptera is a rare species and many aspects of its biology are still unknown. Therefore, as the primary measure for the management and conservation of populations, it is recommended to set up measures aimed at preserving their natural habitats, maintaining the structures of the landscape in its mosaic and spatial heterogeneity as well as preserving their natural vegetation (bushes and woodland) in intensive monoculture matrices. Monitoring of known populations is recommended, as well as improving the knowledge on its life cycle and patterns of habitat selection. Human activities such as agricultural, industrial, urban, and tourist activities should be controlled in order to avoid the loss of habitat.

Citation: Battiston, R. 2014. Apteromantis aptera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 September 2014.
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