Biodiversity Data Journal : Data Paper (Biosciences)
Data Paper (Biosciences)
Biota from the coastal wetlands of Praia da Vitória (Terceira, Azores, Portugal): Part 1 - Arthropods
expand article infoPaulo Alexandre Vieira Borges, Rosalina Gabriel, César M.M. Pimentel§, Mariana R. Brito§, Artur Raposo Moniz Serrano|, Luís Carlos Fonseca Crespo, Volker Assing#, Peter Stüben¤, Simone Fattorini«, António Onofre Soares», Enésima P. Mendonça, Elisabete Nogueira§
‡ CE3C – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal
§ LIFE CWR – LIFE project “Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Praia da Vitória Coastal Wet Green Infrastructures”, Praia da Vitória, Azores, Portugal
| Departamento de Biologia Animal/, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
¶ Biodiversity Research Institute UB, Departament Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain
# Gabelsbergerstraße 2, 30163 Hannover, Germany
¤ CURCULIO Institute e.V., Hauweg 62, D-41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany
« Department of Life, Health & Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
» Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes and Azorean Biodiversity Group, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of the Azores, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
† Deceased author
Open Access



During a LIFE research project aiming at the implementation of the conservation of the habitats and restoration of coastal wetland areas of Praia da Vitória (Terceira, Azores, Portugal), there was the opportunity undertake a systematic record of several groups of arthropods in three wetland areas: Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP). The objective of the study was to perform a rapid biodiversity assessment, comparing the three sites in two different years, before and after the implementation of several conservation measures. This project also contributed to improve the knowledge of Azorean arthropod diversity at both local and regional scales, including new taxa for Terceira island and new records for Azores. Taking into consideration those aims, a set of standardised sampling methods were performed, inspired by the COBRA protocol originally developed for spiders.

New information

A total of 15,810 specimens belonging to 216 arthropod species and subspecies were collected. Beetles (Insecta, Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae) dominated, with 81 and 51 taxa, respectively. Two beetle families dominated, Staphylinidae and Curculionidae with, respectively, 22 and 17 species and subspecies. Exotic species were also dominant (132 species and subspecies), the Azorean endemics being restricted to only eight taxa. The remaining 76 species and subspecies are native non-endemic. Two rare endemic species were found with relatively sustainable populations, the Azores Cone-head Conocephalus chavesi (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae) and the true weevil Drouetius oceanicus oceanicus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). A total of six species are novel for the Azores, five exotic (Bledius unicornis, Carpelimus zealandicus, Oenopia doublieri, Sitona hispidulus, Trichiusa immigrata) and one possibly native (Pyrrhocoris apterus). An additional 15 taxa are novel for Terceira island, ten exotic (Cheiracanthium mildei, Cylindroiulus latestriatus, Eumodicogryllus bordigalensis, Nemobius sylvestris, Pissodes castaneus, Psyllipsocus ramburi, Trachyzelotes lyonneti, Trigonnidium cicindeloides, Tychius cuprifer, Zelotes tenuis) and five native (Aegialia arenaria, Oxypoda lurida, Platycleis sabulosa, Plinthisus brevipennis, Tachyura diabrachys).


Arthropoda, Azores, Terceira Island, coastal area, standardised sampling


The terrestrial coastal lines of the Azores include important wetland areas, namely salty lakes. These habitats were subject to intense human disturbance and, after almost 600 years of human occupancy, only very few coastal wetland habitats still persist in these Atlantic islands. Despite these impacts, three small areas are still available in Terceira Island: i) a native but highly modified coastal saltmarsh habitat, Paul Praia da Vitória (PPV); ii) a new coastal saltmarsh that was created by rehabilitation of the quarry at Cabo da Praia, Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP) (Morton et al. 1997); iii) a wetland included in a dune area, the Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ). The knowledge of the arthropod fauna of these habitats was until recently very incipient, but more recently, the LIFE project "Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Praia da Vitória Coastal Wet Green Infrastructure" (2013-2018) implemented a two-year inventory and monitoring of the biota in these wetland areas. As a consequence, a first survey was conducted in 2016 in order to compare the diversity of arthropods in ground and aerial habitats (herbaceous, shrubs and trees) in the referred wetland areas (Borges et al. 2017). A second survey was performed in 2017, repeating the same sampling protocols with some additional sampling.

General description


In this contribution, we present detailed data on the distribution and abundance of species belonging to several groups of arthropods in three Terceira Island (Azores) wetlands during two years (2016-2017). In addition, we list the new taxonomic records for the Azores or Terceira Island. In doing this, we are contributing to address two key biodiversity shortfalls (see Cardoso et al. 2011): i) the need for improving current information on the local and regional distribution of Azorean arthropods (the Wallacean shortfall); and ii) the need for collecting abundance data for future monitoring purposes (the Prestonian shortfall).

Project description


The inventory of selected groups of terrestrial arthropods in three coastal wetlands from Terceira Island (Azores)


The inventory was conducted during two years (2016-2017) under the responsibility of Paulo A. V. Borges with constant participation of César Pimentel. For the night sampling, additional help in the field was provided by Rosalina Gabriel and Mariana Brito. A large group of taxonomists contributed for the species identification: Luís Crespo (Araneae); Artur Serrano (Insecta, Coleoptera); Volker Assing and Michael Schülke (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae); António O. Soares (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae); Simone Fattorini (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae); Peter Stüben (Coleoptera, Curculionidae). Finally, in the lab, we had the support of Alejandra Ros-Prieto in vouchers management for the University of Azores Insect Collection "Dalberto Teixeira Pombo" and Enésima Mendonça for the database management.

Study area description: 

Terceira Island (area: 400.6 km²; elevation: 1,021.14 m) is one of the nine islands from the Azores archipelago, located in the North Atlantic, roughly at 38°43′49″N 27°19′10″W. The climate in the Azores is temperate oceanic, with regular and abundant rainfall, with high levels of relative humidity and persistent winds, mainly during the winter and autumn seasons.

Terceira Island is known for the presence of some very important pristine areas at high elevation (Gaspar et al. 2011). However, few natural areas still remain at lower elevations, notably in Praia da Vitória county. Three wetland areas, Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP) (Figs 1, 2) were studied in this project. Coastal vegetation dominates, namely Juncus acutus and still includes some arboreal cover by the native shrub Morella faya. The Erica-Morella coastal woodlands as described in Elias et al. (2016) are not present and the exotic invasive species Arundo donax is very common.

Figure 1.  

General aspect of Paul da Praia da Vitória with its islands and the surrounding urban area (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 2.  

Detail of the recently created islands of Juncus acutus habitat in Paul da Praia da Vitória (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

The PPV (Fig. 1) was a large coastal salty marshland with associated dunes, which was largely transformed and reduced for urban development and underwent several dynamic changes in the last 500 years of human occupation. After some major work performed between 2006 and 2010, PPV is currently characterised by a large waterbody with islands of Juncus acutus isolated by channels (Fig. 2). PBJ was originally one of the largest dune areas from the Azores (Fig. 3), but after the construction of the Praia da Vitória harbour, it was reduced to a very small wetland area, with a dune covered partially by J. acutus (Fig. 4). Of particular relevance is the presence of a small stream adding some diversity of vegetation and arthropods (Borges et al. 2017). The case of PPCP is completely different, since this is a recently created wetland (Fig. 5), resulting from the removal of large amounts of stones for the construction of the Praia da Vitória harbour, around 1980 (Fig. 6). As a consequence a new ecosystem was created, the quarry of Cabo da Praia (Morton et al. 1997).

Figure 3.  

Paul do Belo Jardim dune area (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 4.  

Paul do Belo Jardim Juncus effusus area (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 5.  

Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 6.  

Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia detail of margins (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Design description: 

In each of the three wetland areas, transects were setup to allow the sampling of epigean arthropods in the main habitats.

In PPV, three main transects were setup: i) PPV-T200 (Paul da Praia Vitória - Margins) that covers the main margins of the water bodies; ii) PPV-T201 (Paul da Praia Vitória - Island) that covers some of the isolated islands; iii) PPV-T205 (Paul da Praia Vitória - Cerrado São Lazaro) to sample an historical locality with a high diversity of ground-beetle species (Borges 1995; Borges et al. 2017).

In PBJ, two transects were setup: i) PBJ-T203 (Paul do Belo Jardim - Margins), which was located within the Juncus acutus plants; ii) PBJ-T204 (Paul do Belo Jardim - Stream), which was setup in a small stream.

In PPCP, only one transect was setup, PPCP-T202 (Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia - Margins), which covers the main margins of the water.

The beating and sweeping samples were conducted both during the day and night and were undertaken by walking randomly within the sites.


This study was financed by the project LIFE+ (LIFE12 BIO/PT/000110: Ecological Restoration and conservation Infrastructure Green Wet Coast Praia da Vitória) (2013-2018).

Sampling methods


This study covers a small coastal area with 3.58 km extension between PPV and PPCP.

Sampling description: 

In each site, arthropods were sampled during the summers of 2016 and 2017 using a combination of standardised methods inspired by the COBRA protocol (Cardoso 2009):

  • Nocturnal active aerial searching (AAS): Four samples were obtained by four trained collectors (Paulo Borges, Mariana Brito, Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel) targeting active arthropods found above knee-level by hand, forceps, pooter or brush and immediately transferring them into vials containing alcohol. All the time spent in searching (one hour per researcher) was accounted for.
  • Foliage Beating (FB): During daytime, ten samples from each dominant tree or bush were taken. A 110 cm × 80 cm sheet with a frame was used as a drop-cloth (beating tray) and a wooden pole of at least 1.5 m was used to beat tree branches, as high as possible. The plants selected were: A. donax and M. faya in PPV and PPCP and A. donax and J. acutus in PBJ. In 2017, in addition, two samples during the night (FSN) were obtained (one hour each sample covering several plants).
  • Foliage sweeping (FS): A round sweep net with an opening diameter of 46 cm was used to sweep bushes and tall herbs. All time spent sweeping or searching for dislodged arthropods was accounted for. Two samples during daytime (FSD) were obtained (one hour each sample). In 2017, in addition, two samples during the night (FSN) were obtained (one hour each sample).
  • Pitfall (PIT): Pitfall traps (4.2 cm wide at the top and approximately 7.2 cm deep) were placed immediately outside the perimeter of each lake, spaced 10 metres apart. Traps were filled with 3–4 cm of 100% propylene glycol and left in the field for seven days. Traps were protected from predation, inundation with rainwater and unwanted vertebrate capture by using plates sitting on stilts 2 cm above the ground surface. In PBJ, two transects were performed with 30 traps in the main transect and 15 traps in a secondary transect covering a small stream. In PPV and PPCP, single transects of 30 traps each were setup in the margins of water bodies. In PPV, half of the traps were in the margins of the largest “island”. In 2017, additional traps were setup in Cerrado São Lazaro (PPV-T205 Paul da Praia Vitória).

For each site, a total of four samples of AAS, 20 samples of FB, two samples of FS and 30 main samples of PIT were obtained, totalling 56 samples per site and an overall 168 samples in 2017. Further, in 2017, additional pitfall traps in the PBJ small stream added 15 more samples totalling 183 samples. The main 56 samples per site included the sampling of two main sub-habitats, the aerial vegetation with 26 samples (20 beatings during the day, two sweeps during the day and four night aerial searches) and the ground habitat with 30 pitfall samples.

In 2017, the additional samples made during the night added four samples for each site, totalling 60 samples per site. Accumulation curves were performed and completeness was high for all sites (see Borges et al. 2017).

Quality control: 

The correct identification of the sampled taxa is crucial. We followed a three-step process to identify arthropod species: (1) for arthropod orders for which there was taxonomic expertise, one of us (CP) performed morphospecies sorting using a parataxonomy approach (see Oliver and Beattie 1993) with a reference collection; (2) a trained taxonomist (PAVB) corrected all the splitting and lumping errors and identified most of the species; and 3) the morphospecies for which a correct identification was not possible were sent to experts for identification. Taxonomic nomenclature followed the arthropod checklist in Borges et al. (2010) and for the new six taxa the following taxonomic references were used: Lohse 1984, Quinn and Hower 1986, Smaili et al. 2009, Schülke and Smetana 2015.

Geographic coverage


Terceira Island (Azores), Macaronesia, Portugal


38°42’47.95’; 27°03’40.93’ and .

Taxonomic coverage


Arthropods including Diplopoda, Chilopoda, Arachnida (Opiliones; Pseudoscorpiones; Araneae) and Hexapoda (Microcoryphia; Zygentoma; Odonata; Orthoptera; Phasmatodea; Dermaptera; Psocoptera; Hemiptera; Thysanoptera; Neuroptera; Coleoptera; Lepidoptera; Hymenoptera - Formicidae)

Temporal coverage


The sampling was performed on two occasions: summer 2016 and summer 2017.

Collection data

Collection name: 
Dalberto Teixeira Pombo insect collection at the University of Azores.
Collection identifier: 
Specimen preservation method: 
All specimens were preserved in 96% ethanol
Curatorial unit: 
Dalberto Teixeira Pombo insect collection at the University of Azores.

Usage rights

Use license: 
Open Data Commons Attribution License
IP rights notes: 

Additional information on this study may also be requested to the first author

Data resources

Data package title: 
Number of data sets: 
Data set name: 
Arthropods from Praia da Vitória
Data format: 
Darwin Core Archive
Data format version: 
version 1

In this data table, we include all the records for which a taxonomic identification of the species was possible. The dataset submitted to GBIF is structured as a sample event dataset, with two tables: event (as core) and occurrences. The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardised format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 343 records. One extension data table also exists. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated in the IPT link.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for downloading in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.

In Suppl. material 1, we provide a simpler dataset with few columns in a single table.

Column label Column description
Table Event The sub-table with events
eventID Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset
eventDate Date or date range the record was collected
eventTime Time of the day the record was collected
samplingProtocol The sampling protocol used to capture the species
samplingEffort The amount of time of each sampling
sampleSizeValue The numeric amount of time spent in each sampling
sampleSizeUnit The unit of the sample size value
locationID Identifier of the location
fieldNumber Number given to each sample
decimalLatitude Approximate centre point decimal latitude of the field site in GPS coordinates
decimalLongitude Approximate centre point decimal longitude of the field site in GPS coordinates
geodeticDatum The reference point for the various coordinate systems used in mapping the earth
coordinatePrecision Precision of the coordinates
coordinateUncertaintyInMeters Uncertainty of the coordinates
georeferenceSources Method used to obtain coordinates
minimumElevationInMetres Minimum elevation in metres
maximumElevationInMetres Maximum elevation in metres
country Country of the sampling site
countryCode ISO code of the country of the sampling site
stateProvince Name of the region of the sampling site
islandGroup Name of archipelago
island Name of the island
municipality Name of the municipality
locality Name of the locality
locationRemarks Details on the locality site
verbatimCoordinates Original coordinates recorded
Table Occurrences The sub-table with occurrence data
type Type of the record, as defined by the Public Core standard
modified Date of the last modification of the record
eventID Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset
licence Reference to the licence under which the record is published
occurrenceID Identifier of the record, coded as a global unique identifier
basisOfRecord The nature of the data record
InstitutionID The identity of the institution publishing the data
InstitutionCode The code of the institution publishing the data
collectionCode The code of the collection where the specimens are conserved
datasetName Name of the dataset
catalogNumber Record number of the specimen in the collection
recordedBy Name of the person who performed the sampling of the specimens
identifiedBy Name of the person who made the identification
dateIdentified Date on which the record was identified
scientificName Complete scientific name including author and year
taxonRank Lowest taxonomic rank of the record
kingdom Kingdom name
phylum Phylum name
class Class name
order Order name
family Family name
genus Genus name
specificEpithet Specific epithet
infraspecificEpithet Infraspecific epithet, when available
individualCount Total number of individuals captured
organismQuantity Total number of individuals captured, as numeric
organismQuantityType The unit of the identification of the organisms
sex The sex and quantity of the individuals captured
lifeStage The life stage of the organisms captured
scientificNameAuthorship Name of the author of the lowest taxon rank included in the record
establishmentMeans The process of establishment of the species in the location, using a controlled vocabulary: 'native non-endemic', 'introduced', 'endemic'
occurrenceRemarks Remarks on the occurrence with the plant species from where the specimens where captured

Additional information

We collected and identified 15,810 specimens representing 216 species or subspecies and 197 genera during this study (Table 1). Beetles (Insecta, Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae) were the most diverse taxa, with 81 and 51 taxa, respectively. Two beetle families were also diverse, Staphylinidae and Curculionidae with, respectively, 22 and 17 species and subspecies. Exotic species dominated with 132 species and subspecies, the Azorean endemics being restricted to only eight taxa. The remaining 76 species and subspecies are native non-endemic.

Table 1.

Species abundance per site. PPV – Paul da Praia da Vitória; PBJ – Paul Belo Jardim; PPCP – Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia. END - endemic species from Azores; NAT - native non-endemic species; INTR - exotic species.

Class Order Taxon Colonization PPV PBJ PPCP
Arachnida Araneae Altella lucida INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Arctosa perita INTR 1 84 1
Arachnida Araneae Argiope bruennichi NAT 23 154 6
Arachnida Araneae Cheiracanthium mildei INTR 76 18 1
Arachnida Araneae Clubiona decora NAT 191 57 86
Arachnida Araneae Clubiona terrestris INTR 30
Arachnida Araneae Cryptachaea blattea INTR 6
Arachnida Araneae Dysdera crocata INTR 12 47 12
Arachnida Araneae Eidmannella pallida INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Emblyna acoreensis END 144 47 191
Arachnida Araneae Entelecara schmitzi INTR 1 9 7
Arachnida Araneae Erigone autumnalis INTR 5 9
Arachnida Araneae Erigone dentipalpis INTR 3 6 9
Arachnida Araneae Ero aphana INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Ero furcata INTR 1 6
Arachnida Araneae Heliophanus kochii INTR 3 6
Arachnida Araneae Macaroeris cata NAT 4 4
Arachnida Araneae Macaroeris diligens NAT 127 45 120
Arachnida Araneae Malthonica pagana INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Mangora acalypha INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Mermessus bryantae INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Mermessus fradeorum INTR 2 1 1
Arachnida Araneae Metellina merianae INTR 6 8
Arachnida Araneae Neoscona crucifera INTR 26 12 25
Arachnida Araneae Neottiura bimaculata INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Nigma puella INTR 3 88
Arachnida Araneae Oecobius navus INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Oedothorax fuscus INTR 91 115 205
Arachnida Araneae Ostearius melanopygius INTR 4 3
Arachnida Araneae Pachygnatha degeeri INTR 6 9 2
Arachnida Araneae Parasteatoda tepidariorum INTR 4 1
Arachnida Araneae Pardosa acorensis END 9 50
Arachnida Araneae Pelecopsis parallela INTR 4
Arachnida Araneae Phidippus audax INTR 47 104 3
Arachnida Araneae Prinerigone vagans INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Pseudeuophrys vafra INTR 3
Arachnida Araneae Salticus mutabilis INTR 3 4 10
Arachnida Araneae Segestria florentina INTR 4
Arachnida Araneae Steatoda grossa INTR 7 3
Arachnida Araneae Steatoda nobilis INTR 4 4 4
Arachnida Araneae Synageles venator INTR 22 11 14
Arachnida Araneae Tegenaria domestica INTR 2 3 6
Arachnida Araneae Tenuiphantes tenuis INTR 43 34 2
Arachnida Araneae Tetragnatha extensa INTR 39 3 6
Arachnida Araneae Theridion hannoniae INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Theridion melanostictum INTR 4 7 6
Arachnida Araneae Theridion musivivum NAT 2
Arachnida Araneae Trachyzelotes lyonneti INTR 1 1
Arachnida Araneae Xysticus nubilus INTR 24 218 164
Arachnida Araneae Zelotes aeneus INTR 17 11 16
Arachnida Araneae Zelotes tenuis INTR 6
Arachnida Araneae Zodarion atlanticum INTR 1
Arachnida Araneae Zoropsis spinimana INTR 5
Arachnida Araneae Zygiella x-notata INTR 6 6 14
Arachnida Opiliones Homalenotus coriaceus NAT 47 149 1
Arachnida Opiliones Leiobunum blackwalli NAT 157 923 10
Arachnida Pseudoscorpiones Chthonius tetrachelatus INTR 2
Chilopoda Lithobiomorpha Lithobius pilicornis pilicornis NAT 13
Chilopoda Scutigeromorpha Scutigera coleoptrata INTR 1 6 14
Diplopoda Julida Choneiulus palmatus INTR 2
Diplopoda Julida Cylindroiulus latestriatus INTR 2
Diplopoda Julida Ommatoiulus moreletii INTR 147 510 35
Diplopoda Julida Proteroiulus fuscus INTR 1 2
Diplopoda Polydesmida Oxidus gracilis INTR 2 3
Diplopoda Polydesmida Polydesmus coriaceus INTR 63 7
Insecta Coleoptera Acupalpus flavicollis NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Aegialia arenaria NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Aeolus melliculus moreleti INTR 4
Insecta Coleoptera Ahasverus advena INTR 2
Insecta Coleoptera Aleochara bipustulata INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Amischa analis INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Amischa forcipata INTR 1 1
Insecta Coleoptera Anisodactylus binotatus INTR 2 13
Insecta Coleoptera Anotylus nitidifrons INTR 76 2
Insecta Coleoptera Aspidapion radiolus NAT 3 14 104
Insecta Coleoptera Astenus lyonessius NAT 2
Insecta Coleoptera Atheta fungi INTR 4 6 3
Insecta Coleoptera Bembidion semipunctatum NAT 27 2
Insecta Coleoptera Bledius unicornis INTR 13
Insecta Coleoptera Bradycellus distinctus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Calymmaderus solidus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Carpelimus corticinus NAT 2
Insecta Coleoptera Carpelimus zealandicus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Cartodere bifasciata INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Cercyon haemorrhoidalis INTR 1 3
Insecta Coleoptera Chrysolina bankii NAT 11 1
Insecta Coleoptera Coccinella undecimpunctata undecimpunctata INTR 11
Insecta Coleoptera Coccotrypes carpophagus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Coelositona puberulus INTR 3
Insecta Coleoptera Cordalia obscura INTR 15 38 5
Insecta Coleoptera Creophilus maxillosus maxillosus INTR 4
Insecta Coleoptera Cryptamorpha desjardinsii INTR 21 8 7
Insecta Coleoptera Drouetius oceanicus oceanicus END 5
Insecta Coleoptera Enochrus bicolor INTR 5 1
Insecta Coleoptera Epitrix hirtipennis INTR 2
Insecta Coleoptera Gonipterus scutellatus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Gymnetron pascuorum INTR 1 3 2
Insecta Coleoptera Heteroderes azoricus END 13 12 10
Insecta Coleoptera Heteroderes vagus INTR 20 219 11
Insecta Coleoptera Hirticollis quadriguttatus NAT 32 92
Insecta Coleoptera Hypera postica INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Hypocaccus brasiliensis INTR 21
Insecta Coleoptera Kalcapion semivittatum semivittatum NAT 3
Insecta Coleoptera Laemostenes complanatus INTR 2
Insecta Coleoptera Lixus pulverulentus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Meligethes aeneus INTR 3 6
Insecta Coleoptera Naupactus leucoloma INTR 22 30 53
Insecta Coleoptera Ocypus olens NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Oenopia doublieri INTR 2 3 1
Insecta Coleoptera Orthochaetes insignis NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Otiorhynchus cribricollis INTR 24 19 68
Insecta Coleoptera Oxypoda lurida NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Pantomorus cervinus INTR 59 70 3
Insecta Coleoptera Phaleria bimaculata INTR 677
Insecta Coleoptera Phloeonomus punctipennis NAT 6
Insecta Coleoptera Phloeostiba azorica END 1
Insecta Coleoptera Pissodes castaneus INTR 7
Insecta Coleoptera Platystethus nitens NAT 2 1
Insecta Coleoptera Pseudoophonus rufipes INTR 5
Insecta Coleoptera Psylliodes marcidus NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Ptenidium pusillum INTR 1 6 1
Insecta Coleoptera Pterostichus vernalis INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Rhyzobius litura NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Rodolia cardinalis INTR 4 4
Insecta Coleoptera Rugilus orbiculatus orbiculatus NAT 1 0 1
Insecta Coleoptera Scymnus interruptus NAT 14 14 37
Insecta Coleoptera Scymnus nubilus NAT 14 14 37
Insecta Coleoptera Sepedophilus lusitanicus NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Sericoderus lateralis INTR 11 9 1
Insecta Coleoptera Sitona discoideus INTR 3 7
Insecta Coleoptera Sitona hispidulus INTR 2
Insecta Coleoptera Sitona lineatus INTR 2
Insecta Coleoptera Sphenophorus abbreviatus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Stegobium paniceum INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Stenolophus teutonus NAT 1 2
Insecta Coleoptera Stethorus pusillus NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Stilbus testaceus NAT 124 175 657
Insecta Coleoptera Tachyporus chrysomelinus INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Tachyporus nitidulus INTR 1 1
Insecta Coleoptera Tachyura diabrachys NAT 1
Insecta Coleoptera Tribolium castaneum INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Trichiusa immigrata INTR 1
Insecta Coleoptera Tychius cuprifer INTR 10 7
Insecta Coleoptera Tychius picirostris INTR 8
Insecta Coleoptera Typhaea stercorea INTR 2 2 1
Insecta Coleoptera Xantholinus longiventris INTR 1
Insecta Dermaptera Euborellia annulipes INTR 307 96 120
Insecta Dermaptera Forficula auricularia INTR 1 16 14
Insecta Dermaptera Labidura riparia NAT 46 38
Insecta Hemiptera Anoscopus albifrons NAT 3 3 2
Insecta Hemiptera Beosus maritimus NAT 1
Insecta Hemiptera Buchananiella continua INTR 2 18
Insecta Hemiptera Closterotomus norwegicus NAT 1
Insecta Hemiptera Cyphopterum adcendens NAT 1
Insecta Hemiptera Emblethis denticollis NAT 1
Insecta Hemiptera Empicoris rubromaculatus INTR 3 3 1
Insecta Hemiptera Euscelidius variegatus NAT 8
Insecta Hemiptera Geotomus punctulatus NAT 12 28 1
Insecta Hemiptera Kelisia ribauti NAT 1 3
Insecta Hemiptera Kleidocerys ericae NAT 11 2
Insecta Hemiptera Megamelodes quadrimaculatus NAT 2
Insecta Hemiptera Monalocoris filicis NAT 1
Insecta Hemiptera Nabis pseudoferus ibericus NAT 6 3 22
Insecta Hemiptera Nezara viridula INTR 7 5 46
Insecta Hemiptera Nysius atlantidum END 2 116
Insecta Hemiptera Orius laevigatus laevigatus NAT 6 8 210
Insecta Hemiptera Oxycarenus lavaterae INTR 4 244
Insecta Hemiptera Pilophorus confusus NAT 72 2 23
Insecta Hemiptera Plinthisus brevipennis NAT 1
Insecta Hemiptera Pyrrhocoris apterus NAT 7 1
Insecta Hemiptera Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominalis INTR 2
Insecta Hemiptera Saldula palustris NAT 4
Insecta Hemiptera Scolopostethus decoratus NAT 26 12
Insecta Hemiptera Siphanta acuta INTR 10
Insecta Hemiptera Taylorilygus apicalis INTR 63 213 48
Insecta Hemiptera Trigonotylus caelestialium NAT 21 36 76
Insecta Hymenoptera Hypoponera eduardi NAT 35 9 1
Insecta Hymenoptera Lasius grandis NAT 1587 672 881
Insecta Hymenoptera Monomorium carbonarium NAT 224 237 315
Insecta Hymenoptera Temnothorax unifasciatus NAT 13 4
Insecta Hymenoptera Tetramorium caespitum NAT 99 33 17
Insecta Lepidoptera Agrotis ipsilon NAT 1 2
Insecta Lepidoptera Aproaerema anthyllidella INTR 4 2
Insecta Lepidoptera Autographa gamma NAT 5
Insecta Lepidoptera Blastobasis marrocanella NAT 1 6 3
Insecta Lepidoptera Colias croceus NAT 10 13 2
Insecta Lepidoptera Lampides boeticus NAT 3
Insecta Lepidoptera Mythimna unipuncta NAT 5 5 2
Insecta Lepidoptera Oinophila v-flava INTR 11 33 1
Insecta Lepidoptera Opogona sacchari INTR 1 3
Insecta Lepidoptera Rhopobota naevana INTR 1
Insecta Lepidoptera Udea ferruginalis NAT 1
Insecta Microcoryphia Dilta saxicola NAT 2 2
Insecta Neuroptera Hemerobius azoricus END 1
Insecta Odonata Sympetrum fonscolombii NAT 1
Insecta Orthoptera Conocephalus chavesi END 34 340 18
Insecta Orthoptera Eumodicogryllus bordigalensis INTR 10 148 37
Insecta Orthoptera Gryllus bimaculatus INTR 1 8 4
Insecta Orthoptera Nemobius sylvestris INTR 2
Insecta Orthoptera Oedipoda caerulescens NAT 1
Insecta Orthoptera Phaneroptera nana NAT 31 52 9
Insecta Orthoptera Platycleis sabulosa NAT 11 16
Insecta Orthoptera Trigonnidium cicindeloides INTR 4 1 6
Insecta Phasmatodea Carausius morosus INTR 9
Insecta Psocoptera Atlantopsocus adustus NAT 3
Insecta Psocoptera Bertkauia lucifuga NAT 1
Insecta Psocoptera Ectopsocus briggsi INTR 20 75 43
Insecta Psocoptera Ectopsocus strauchi NAT 13 36 48
Insecta Psocoptera Psyllipsocus ramburi INTR 1
Insecta Psocoptera Trichopsocus clarus NAT 21 2 21
Insecta Psocoptera Valenzuela burmeisteri NAT 3
Insecta Psocoptera Valenzuela flavidus NAT 13 56 53
Insecta Thysanoptera Aeolothrips gloriosus INTR 4
Insecta Thysanoptera Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis INTR 1 2
Insecta Thysanoptera Hoplothrips corticis NAT 7
Insecta Zygentoma Ctenolepisma longicaudata INTR 1
Species Richness 130 148 130
Abundance 4632 6461 4717

The most abundant species, belonging to the first quartile when ranking species abundances, accounted for 14,680 specimens, i.e. 93% of all adult sampled specimens belong to 25% of the species (54 species). From these 54 species, four are endemic, 22 are native and 28 are exotic. Thirty one species had more than 100 specimens and four of them were particularly abundant: the native ant Lasius grandis with 3140 specimens, the native harvestman Leiobunum blackwalli (Opiliones) with 1090 individuals, the native beetle Stilbus testaceus with 956 specimens and the native ant Monomorium carbonarium with 776 individuals.

Only one of the three most abundant ground-beetles recorded for PPV in 1991-1993 (Borges 1995) was found in the current sample, but with low abundance: Bembidion semipunctatum. The species was found in PPV (with 27 specimens), but also in PPCP with only two specimens

Paul Belo Jardim (PBJ) was the richest site with 148 species and subspecies, the other two sites having equal diversity (Table 1). Particularly relevant was the finding of two rare endemic species in PBJ, the Azores Cone-head Conocephalus chavesi (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae) (Fig. 7), that was recently listed as Endangered by IUCN (Hochkirch and Borges 2016) and the true weevil Drouetius oceanicus oceanicus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) (Fig. 8), that was recently listed as Endangered by IUCN (see Borges and Lamelas-López 2018). The Azores Cone-head Conocephalus chavesi was also found in the two other sites but with lower abundance.

Figure 7.  

A juvenile of Azores Cone-head Conocephalus chavesi (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae) (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 8.  

The Azores endemic true weevil Drouetius oceanicus oceanicus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Known ranges and ecology of newly reported species

Twenty-one species, which represent 10% of the total species collected, are new records for either the Azores and Terceira island (six species) or only Terceira Island (15 species). The new species for the Azores include five exotic and one possibly native species. The 15 new records for Terceira island include ten exotic and five native species (see also Table 1).

Diplopoda - Julida

- Cylindroiulus latestriatus (Curtis, 1845) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on five islands (Corvo, Flores, Faial, S. Miguel and S. Maria). Exotic species common in Western Europe. This species is usually associated with coastal and dune systems (Kime 2004). Captured with pitfall traps.


- Cheiracanthium mildei L. Koch, 1864 (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on two islands (Flores and S. Miguel). This is an exotic spider native from Europe, North Africa, Turkey and the Near East. Introduced to North America, Argentina and Azores. (see World Spider Catalog 2018). The species was found mostly in the canopy of Morella faya.

- Trachyzelotes lyonneti (Audouin, 1926) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on four islands (Faial, Graciosa, S. Miguel and S. Maria). This is an exotic spider native from the Mediterranean to Central Asia. The species has been introduced into the United States, Mexico, Peru and Brazil (see World Spider Catalog 2018). Captured with pitfall traps.

- Zelotes tenuis (L. Koch, 1866) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on a single island (S. Miguel). This is an exotic spider, native from the Mediterranean to Russia (Caucasus). Introduced to Galapagos Is., Azores and USA (see World Spider Catalog 2018). Captured with pitfall traps.

Insecta - Orthoptera

- Eumodicogryllus bordigalensis (Latreille, 1804) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on two islands (S. Miguel and S. Maria). This is an exotic species native from N-Africa, S-Europe and warmer parts of Asia. It is spreading northwards due to climate change. It has already reached southern parts of West Germany (see Anonymous 2018a). Captured with pitfall traps.

- Nemobius sylvestris (Bosc D’Antic, 1792) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on a single island (S. Miguel). This is an exotic species, native from North Africa across the Iberian Peninsula, France, north-westernmost Italy and parts of Central Europe to southern England, south-western Poland and the Czech Republic (see Anonymous 2018c). Captured with pitfall traps.

- Platycleis sabulosa Azam, 1901 (new for Terceira island). This is a possible native species with origin in Northern Africa and South-western Europe (Iberian Peninsula, Southern France) (see Anonymous 2018b). Captured with pitfall traps.

- Trigonnidium cicindeloides Rambur, 1839 (new for Terceira island). First recorded for Azores (S. Miguel) by Borges et al. (2013) and now also found in Terceira. This is a southern Europe (Mediterranean area) native species, but occurs also on the Canary Islands, Africa, Madagascar, China, Japan and Korea. This species if frequently found associated with ponds. Captured with pitfall traps.

Insecta - Hemiptera

- Plinthisus brevipennis (Latreille, 1807) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on five islands (Faial, Pico, Graciosa, S. Miguel and S. Maria). This is a native species usually associated with grassy environments. Captured with pitfall traps.

- Pyrrhocoris apterus (Linnaeus,1758) (new for the Azores). This is a very common and widespread Palaearctic species. This is possibly a native species from Azores. Captured with pitfall traps, but also associated with Arundo donax.

Insecta - Psocoptera

- Psyllipsocus ramburi Sélys-Longchamps, 1872 (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on two islands (S. Miguel and S. Maria). This is an exotic species in Azores and native from West Palaearctic. Captured with pitfall traps, this species is usually associated with damp sites (Robinson 2005).

Insecta - Coleoptera

- Aegialia arenaria (Fabricius, 1787) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on a single island (S. Miguel). This is a native dune scarab beetle species in Azores and native from West Palaearctic. Captured with pitfall traps, this species is commonly associated with coastal dune areas.

- Bledius unicornis (Germar, 1825) (new for the Azores). This is a common rove-beetle species distributed from the Atlantic Islands across Europe and the Mediterranean eastwards to Middle Asia (Schülke and Smetana 2015). Captured with pitfall traps, this species is adapted to damp areas, particularly salt-marsh areas (Zanella and Scarton 2017).

- Carpelimus zealandicus (Sharp, 1900) (new for the Azores). Originally most likely from the Australian Region, this species is adventive in Europe, with confirmed records from Central Europe, the British Isles and Scandinavia (Schülke and Smetana 2015). Captured with pitfall traps.

- Oenopia doublieri (Mulsant, 1846) (new for the Azores). This exotic species is native from the Mediterranean region. The species was recently recorded also in Morocco and associated with citrus orchards (Smaili et al. 2009). This is, possibly, a recent introduction in the Azores. The species was found associated with the invasive Arundo donax.

- Oxypoda lurida Wollaston, 1857 (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on a single island (S. Maria). Oxypoda lurida is a widespread and mostly parthenogenetic species distributed from the Atlantic Islands across Europe and the Mediterranean eastwards to Turkey and Cyprus) (Schülke and Smetana 2015). Captured with pitfall traps.

- Pissodes castaneus (De Geer, 1775) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on four islands (Faial, Pico, S. Miguel and S. Maria). The small banded pine weevil is a cosmopolitan species commonly associated with pines, the larval stage having some impact on adult trees. This species is considered invasive (Pestaña and Santolamazza-Carbone 2010) and is widespread on all Macaronesian islands (Stüben 2018) where pines from Europe (e.g. Pinus sylvestris) were introduced. Captured with pitfall traps.

- Sitona hispidulus (Fabricius, 1777) (new for the the Azores). Known as Clover Root Curculio, this species is native to and widespread throughout Eurasia, but also introduced in North America (Quinn and Hower 1986). Captured with pitfall traps. This species has a short-winged and a long-winged form and prefers stands of Trifolium (especially T. repens) on damp and relatively dry localities and with a minor preference also for Medicago and Vicia. It seems to have just arrived into the Azores, otherwise this Sitona species could/should have been found even before.

- Tachyura diabrachys (Kolenati, 1845) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on a single island (S. Maria). This is a west European species. Captured with pitfall traps, this is a species usually associated with damp areas.

- Trichiusa immigrata Lohse, 1984 (new for the Azores; Note: there is a mention of this species in the latest edition of the Palaearctic Catalogue, but we have no idea who published the primary record). Originally from North America, this adventive rove-beetle species was first recorded from Central Europe by Lohse (1984) and is now widespread and common in the West Palaearctic region from the Atlantic Islands eastwards to Russia and Ukraine. It is usually found in decomposing plant material and in the leaf litter (Moore 2004). The material from the Azores was found in grassland.

- Tychius cuprifer (Panzer, 1799) (new for Terceira island). Previously recorded on a single island (S. Miguel). It is also reported from Madeira in 2015 for the first time, collected in multifunnel traps (Stüben 2018). It is most probably introduced with Fabaceae (forage). T. cuprifer is a xerothermophilous species from South Europe and North Africa (uninterruptedly until Turkmenistan) and develops mainly on Trifolium arvense (it is also called T. pratense and T. stellatum (CURCULIO_Team 2010).


We would like to acknowledge the inspiration given by Elisabete Nogueira and her hard work in leading the LIFE CWR – Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Praia da Vitória Coastal Wet Green Infrastructure (2013-2018), that financed the field and lab work of this study. Many thanks also to Rui Figueira for the creation of the Darwin Core Archive. The Open Access of this manuscript and the trip of PAVB to University of Barcelona for the identification of spiders was financed by the project FCT-UID/BIA/00329/CE3C-GBA. This is also a first contribution for the AZORESBIOPORTAL -PORBIOTA (2018-2022).

Author contributions

PB and EN conceived the project. PB conceived and drafted the manuscript. PB, RG, CMMP and MRB collected the data. PB, ARMS, LCFC, VA, PS, SF and AOS identified the species. EM and PB organised the final database. All the authors revised the final text


Supplementary material

Suppl. material 1: LIFE_CWR_TER_Arthropods 
Authors:  Borges, PAV et al.
Data type:  Occurrences and abundances
Brief description: 

In this contribution, we present detailed data on the distribution and abundance of species belonging to several groups of arthropods in three Terceira island (Azores) wetlands during two years (2016-2017).

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