Biodiversity Data Journal : Data Paper (Biosciences)
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Data Paper (Biosciences)
An updated checklist to the biodiversity data of ladybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of the Azores Archipelago (Portugal)
expand article infoAntónio Onofre Soares‡,§, Isabel Borges, Hugo Renato Calado, Paulo A. V. Borges|,
‡ cE3c – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Rua Madre de Deus, sn, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
§ IUCN SSC, Ladybird Specialist Group, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
| cE3c – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Rua Capitão João d’Ávila, São Pedro, 9700-042, Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal
¶ IUCN SSC, Mid-Atlantic Islands Specialist Group, Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal
Open Access

Abstract

Background

A recently-published review from 2021 presents a comprehensive checklist of ladybeetles of Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira Archipelagos. Until then, the available information was very scattered and based on a single revision dating back to 1986, a few international catalogues and databases, individual records and studies on communities of agroecosystems. However, no information was available on faunal composition across the Azorean islands and their habitats, using standardised inventories. Here, we present data about the biodiversity of ladybeetles and their distribution and abundance in five Islands of the Azores (Faial, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge and São Miguel). Surveys included herbaceous and arboreal habitats from native to anthropogenic-managed habitats: ruderal road vegetation, vegetable garden, mixed forest of endemic and non-native host plants, coastal prairies, coastal mixed vegetation, cornfields and urban areas. We aimed to contribute to the ongoing effort to document the terrestrial biodiversity of Portugal, including the Archipelago of the Azores, within the research project AZORESBIOPORTAL–PORBIOTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072).

New information

In this study, a total of 1,487 specimens of Coccinellidae belonging to 19 species are reported for several habitats. The listed species are from one single sub-familiy (Coccinellinae) and six tribes; Chilocorini (one species), Coccidulini (three species), Coccinellini (six species), Noviini (one species), Scymnini (seven species), Stethorini (one species). The number of species collected per island differed; Faial (10 species), Graciosa (four species), Pico (seven species), São Jorge (seven species) and São Miguel (12 species). For six species, new island records are given. Currently, the number of species known to occur in the Azores are 32, including two doubtful records. The majority of species are Scymnini, being Scymnus (Scymnus) interruptus (Goeze, 1777) and Scymnus (Scymnus) nubilus Mulsant, 1850, the most abundant species (relative abundance 71.1%). This database will be the baseline of a long-term monitoring project allowing assessment of the impact of ongoing global changes in the distribution and abundance of ladybeetles.

Keywords

Arthropoda, Ladybeetles, Azores, Faial, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge, São Miguel

Introduction

Insects, like other taxonomic groups, are at high risk of extinction (Harvey et al. 2020). Insects deliver fundamental services to agricultural and forest ecosystems, including pollination, decomposition and pest control, which, in turn, translates into relevant consequences for food production and security (e.g. Ameixa et al. 2018, IPBES 2019, Cardoso et al. 2020).

The family Coccinellidae contains between 6000 and 7000 described species (Seago et al. 2011). Currently the number of Coccinellidae known for Azores is 32, including two doubtful records (Soares et al. 2021b).

Despite being very diverse in terms of morphology, life history traits, habitat use and food relationships (see Hodek et al. 2012 for review), they are primarily top carnivorous predators and thus useful natural enemies of herbivorous arthropods, including aphids (Aphidoidea), scale insects (Coccoidea), whiteflies (Aleyrodoidea) or mites (Acari) (Hodek et al. 2012). Until very recently, this group was thought to exhibit only sexual reproduction. However, it was found that some populations of Nephus (Nephus) voeltzkowi Weise, 1910, including the Azorean populations, showed parthenogenetic reproduction, which constitutes the first case of parthenogenesis in ladybeetles (Magro et al. 2019).

Over the past 30 years, rapid declines of formerly common native ladybird species - including in North America (Harmon et al. 2006), Europe (Roy et al. 2012, Honĕk et al. 2016) and others (reviewed in Roy et al. 2016) - have been occurring. Most declines are associated with climate change, agricultural intensification and urbanisation and invasions of alien species (Honĕk et al. 2017), especially with an increasing density, spread and dominance of the invasive Harmonia axyridis Pallas. Despite its high invasive capacity resulting in its rapid spread and fast establishment under distinct climatic conditions, H. axyridis did not establish in the Azores where it was intentionally and repeatedly released (Soares et al. 2008, Soares et al. 2018), for the same reasons as in other regions, for agricultural pest control purposes. This apparent failure is an interesting case study for invasion biology. Several hypotheses were tested to explain the inability of this species to become invasive (Soares et al. 2017, Alaniz et al. 2020). The lack of high density of their preferred aphid preys may be a key factor hampering its establishment. Indeed, the composition of Coccinellidae fauna seems to be dominated by small species [like Scymuns spp., which require low aphid density (Soares et al. 2017)]. Apparently, the climatic conditions of the Azores do not seem likely to hinder the invasion of H. axyridis, as areas with similar climates have experienced extensive invasion. Indeed, climatic models have predicted the spread of H. axyridis to regions with subtropical conditions (Poutsma et al. 2008, Bidinger et al. 2010). However, for the Azores and contrary to that prediction, the absence of suitable temperature to overwinter will force adults to become active during the winter season and females will not find enough suitable food (in quantity and quality) to reproduce and this will hinder the build-up of the first generation (Alaniz et al. 2020).

General description

Purpose: 

We aimed to contribute to characterise the richness and abundance of ladybeetles in several herbaceous and arboreal habitats, from native to anthropogenic-managed habitats. We also aimed to contribute to address two key shortfalls: 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) (see Cardoso et al. 2011).

In addition, we provide an updated checklist of Azorean ladybeetles with their known distribution in the nine Azorean islands.

Project description

Title: 

AZORESBIOPORTAL–PORBIOTA: inventory of ladybeetles of the Azores (Portugal)

Personnel: 

António O. Soares, Isabel Borges and Hugo R. Calado collected the samples and managed the database. Paulo A.V. Borges assisted us in managing the database to GBIF.

Study area description: 

We focused the inventory on five islands of the Azores (Table 1), these being five of the nine islands from the Azores Archipelago. The climate in the Azores is temperate oceanic, with regular and abundant rainfall, high levels of relative humidity and persistent winds, mainly during winter and autumn seasons. The landscape of the islands is composed by a mosaic of habitats, ranging from herbaceous to arboreal habitats and from native to anthropogenic-managed habitats. The surveys were done on ruderal road vegetation, vegetable garden, mixed forest of endemic and non-native host plants, coastal prairies, coastal mixed vegetation, cornfields and urban areas.

Table 1.

List of studied islands, habitats and localities with indication of elevation and geographical coordinates (datum WGS84).

Island Habitat Locality Elevation (m) Latitude Longitude
Faial Citrus orchard Castelo Branco 57 38.5231 -28.68917
Corn field Cedros 166 38.62475 -28.68011
Coastal mixed vegetation Norte Pequeno 12 38.59263 -28.82711
Coastal prairies Pasteleiro 67 38.53005 -28.647701
Coastal prairies Praia do Almoxarife 5 38.5541 -28.61053
Coastal prairies Varadouro 8 38.56639 -28.77042
Mixed forest of endemic and non-native host plants Varadouro 175 38.57394 -28.77713
Mixed forest of endemic and non-native host plants Norte Pequeno 128 38.59433 -28.81541
Ruderal road vegetation Pasteleiro 93 38.53605 -28.64981
Ruderal road vegetation Varadouro 198 38.57952 -28.78283
Urban poplar grove Angústias 39 38.52806 -28.6367
Vegetable garden Feteira 37 38.52494 -28.68179
Graciosa Abandoned vineyards Beira Mar 10 39.02123 -28.00697
Coastal prairies Beira Mar 7 39.021 -28.00711
Coastal prairies Beira Mar 21 39.02373 -28.00686
Coastal prairies Sta. Cruz da Graciosa 25 39.09572 -28.03441
Coastal Prairies, dominated by Canica sp. Carapacho 17 39.01185 -27.97651
Pasture: Medicago sativa L. Jorge Gomes 58 39.0607 -28.06173
Nerium oleander L. and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. Alto do Sul 29 39.01192 -27.97911
Ruderal road vegetation: herbaceous vegetation Bom Jesus 9 39.08346 -28.05213
Ruderal road vegetation: herbaceous vegetation Bom Jesus 13 39.08189 -28.0542
Ruderal road vegetation: herbaceous vegetation Bom Jesus 19 39.08094 -28.05473
Ruderal road vegetation: herbaceous vegetation Jorge Gomes 69 39.06235 -28.06227
Trees of Tamarix sp. Bom Jesus 8 39.08376 -28.0524
Vegetable garden Porto da Barra 8 39.08469 -27.99925
Pico Citrus orchard Sete Cidades 119 38.52796 -28.50286
Citrus orchard Terra do Pão 55 38.42747 -28.40318
Corn field Monte 69 38.49832 -28.52976
Corn field São Vicente 113 38.54541 -28.36608
Corn field Sete Cidades 116 38.5286 -28.50279
Coastal prairies Madalena 3 38.52013 -28.53784
Coastal prairies Madalena 8 38.53957 -28.52029
Evergreen forest Toledos 15 38.54746 -28.50961
Evergreen of endemic and exotic forest Campo Raso 36 38.44743 -28.49908
Pine trees Sete Cidades 29 38.53353 -28.52339
Pine trees Sete Cidades 884 38.4976 -28.41566
Ruderal road vegetation Farrobo 114 38.54266 -28.42825
Ruderal road vegetation: Arundo donax L. Silveira 90 38.41783 -28.29147
Ruderal road vegetation: Evergreen of endemic and exotic Forest Cachorro 26 38.55574 -28.44033
Ruderal road vegetation: Herbaceous plants Cachorro 26 38.55574 -28.44033
Ruderal road vegetation: Tamarix sp. Madalena 3 38.52013 -28.53784
Vegetable garden: cabbage São Mateus 48 38.43294 -28.45794
Vegetable garden: cabbage São Vicente 113 38.54541 -28.36608
São Jorge Citrus orchard Fajã de S. Amaro 60 38.66226 -28.17184
Citrus orchard Fajã de S. Amaro 78 38.66261 -28.17155
Coastal herbaceaous plants: Erica and Myrica Portinho da Queimada 18 38.66651 -28.18714
Coastal prairies Queimada 14 38.67241 -28.19456
Coastal prairies Velas 27 38.6889 -28.2188
Coastal prairies: Tamarix sp. Velas 34 38.68693 -28.21873
Vegetable garden: cabbage, bean and cucumber Urzelina 60 38.64404 -28.1194
Vegetable garden: cabbage, bean and cucumber Velas 40 38.68181 -28.20469
Wood: Acacia trees Urzelina 59 38.64813 -28.12971
Wood: Pinus trees Urzelina 58 38.64383 -28.11937
São Miguel Ruderal road vegetation: Arundo donax L. Arrifres 130 37.75388 -25.70472
Ruderal road vegetation: Arundo donax L. Calhetas 18 37.82279 -25.61368
Ruderal road vegetation: Arundo donax L. São Roque 13 37.75152 -25.61896
Ruderal road vegetation: Arundo donax L. São Roque 13 37.75205 -25.62264
Ruderal road vegetation: Arundo donax L. São Roque 14 37.75205 -25.62264
Coastal prairies Fenais da Luz 30 37.83083 -25.635
Coastal prairies Pópulo 30 37.75023 -25.62106
Coastal prairies Rabo de Peixe 18 37.81583 -25.56694
Coastal prairies Rabo de Peixe 35 37.81378 -25.56706
Coastal prairies Relva 30 37.73737 -25.69819
Coastal prairies Relva 30 37.74711 -25.71359
Coastal prairies Santa Clara 30 37.7333 -25.686
Coastal prairies Santa Clara 30 37.73495 -25.69359
Coastal prairies São Roque 13 37.75152 -25.61896
Corn field Fenais da Luz 18 37.82666 -25.63194
Corn field Ribeira Seca 18 37.81659 -25.53795
Corn field São Sebastião 87 37.75424 -25.67236
Pine trees São Sebastião 76 37.75036 -25.67572
Pine trees São Sebastião 76 37.75036 -25.67572
Funding: 

This study was financed by FEDER in 85% and by Azorean Public funds by 15% through the Operational Programme Azores 2020, under the following projects AZORESBIOPORTAL–PORBIOTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072) and under the project ECO2-TUTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000081) and by the Official Forestry Services from the Regional Government of the Azores, through the research projects PICA (Utilização de agentes de controlo biológico para o combate a populações de afídeos em plantas endémicas produzidas em viveiro) and PICONIA (Controlo biológico de populações de pragas de plantas endémicas produzidas em viveiro). Isabel Borges was funded by a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) (POCI 2010).

Sampling methods

Study extent: 

Five Islands of the Azores (Portugal): São Miguel, Graciosa, Faial, Pico and So Jorge.

Sampling description: 

The sampling programme in Faial, Graciosa, Pico and São Jorge consisted of travelling through each Island by car, for 3 to 4 days depending on the size of the Island. For São Miguel, we also included results taken in 2012 (Borges et al. 2011) in which fieldwork included a similar sampling effort. The samplings took place in representative habitats of the vegetation cover of the Islands that are visited by ladybeetles. The methods used to collect the samples were sweeping, beating and direct observations. Sampling from the herbaceous plants and canopy up to a height of ca. 3 m was standardised by using a standard sweep net (35-cm diameter, 140-cm handle) operated by António O. Soares, Isabel Borges and Hugo R. Calado. Independently of the method, the sampling effort was standardised in terms of the number of persons per unit of time (e.g. 1 person per 2 hours, 1 person per 30’, 1 person per 15'). Fieldwork occurred between 09:00 h and 16 :00 h on sunny and calm days. Ladybeetle adults were identified immediately and were released at the site and Scymnus spp were brought back to laboratory to identification.

Geographic coverage

Description: 

Azores Islands (Portugal): Faial, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge and São Miguel

Coordinates: 

36.906 and 39.589 Latitude; -24.961 and -31.311 Longitude.

Taxonomic coverage

Description: 

The sampling programme targeted labybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Taxa included:
Rank Scientific Name Common Name
family Coccinellidae Ladybeetles/ ladybirds/ ladybird beetles/ ladybugs

Traits coverage

There are no trait data associated.

Temporal coverage

Notes: 

20 April 2012 to 6 July 2020

Collection data

Collection name: 
Ladybeetles of the Azores
Collection identifier: 
ladybeetles
Specimen preservation method: 
Ethanol 96%
Curatorial unit: 
University of the Azores, Faculty of Sciences and Technology

Usage licence

Usage licence: 
Creative Commons Public Domain Waiver (CC-Zero)

Data resources

Data package title: 
Biodiversity data of ladybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of the Azores Archipelago (Portugal)
Number of data sets: 
2
Data set name: 
Table of Sampling Events
Data format: 
Darwin Core Archive
Data format version: 
version 1.5
Description: 

The following data table includes all the records for which a taxonomic identification of the species was possible. The dataset submitted to GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) is structured as a sample event dataset, with two tables: in the current event table, the data in this sampling event resource have been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwCA), which is a standardised format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data file contains 98 records (eventID). This IPT (integrated publishing toolkit) archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download from Soares et al. (2021a).

Column label Column description
id Unique identification code for species abundance data. Equivalent here to eventID.
eventID Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset.
samplingProtocol The sampling protocol used to capture the species.
samplingEffort The numeric amount of time spent in each sampling.
eventDate Date or date range the record was collected.
year Year of the event.
month Month of the event.
day Day of the event.
habitat The habitat of the sample.
fieldNumber An identifier given to the event in the field. Serves here as a link between field notes and the Event.
locationID Identifier of the location.
islandGroup Name of archipelago.
island Name of the island.
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.
municipality Municipality of the sampling site.
locality Name of the locality.
verbatimLocality The original textual description of the place.
maximumElevationInMetres The upper limit of the range of elevation (altitude, usually above sea level), in metres.
locationRemarks Details on the locality site.
verbatimCoordinates The verbatim original spatial coordinates of the Location.
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 ellipsoid, geodetic datum or spatial reference system (SRS) upon which the geographic coordinates given in decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude are based.
coordinateUncertaintyInMetres Uncertainty of the coordinates of the centre of the sampling plot.
coordinatePrecision Precision of the coordinates.
georeferenceSources A list (concatenated and separated) of maps, gazetteers or other resources used to georeference the Location, described specifically enough to allow anyone in the future to use the same resources.
Data set name: 
Table of Species Occurrence
Data format: 
Darwin Core
Data format version: 
version1.5
Description: 

The following data table includes all the records for which a taxonomic identification of the species was possible. The dataset submitted to GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) is structured as a sample event dataset, with two tables: in the current occurrences table, the data in this sampling event resource have been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwCA), which is a standardised format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data file contains 218 records (occurrenceID). This IPT (integrated publishing toolkit) archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download from Soares et al. (2021a).

Column label Column description
id Unique identification code for species abundance data. Equivalent here to eventID.
type Type of the record, as defined by the Public Core standard.
licence Reference to the licence under which the record is published.
institutionID The identity of the institution publishing the data.
collectionID The identity of the collection 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.
basisOfRecord The nature of the data record.
occurrenceID Identifier of the record, coded as a global unique identifier.
recordedBy A list (concatenated and separated) of names of people, groups or organisations who performed the sampling in the field.
individualCount A number or enumeration value for the quantity of organisms.
organismQuantityType The type of quantification system used for the quantity of organisms.
lifeStage The life stage of the organisms captured.
establishmentMeans The process of establishment of the species in the location, using a controlled vocabulary: 'native', 'introduced', 'endemic', "uncertain".
eventID Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset.
identifiedBy A list (concatenated and separated) of names of people, groups or organisations who assigned the Taxon to the subject.
dateIdentified The date on which the subject was determined as representing the Taxon.
identificationRemarks Comments or notes about the Identification.
scientificName Complete scientific name including author and year.
kingdom Kingdom name.
phylum Phylum name.
class Class name.
order Order name.
family Family name.
genus Genus name.
specificEpithet Specific epithet.
taxonRank Lowest taxonomic rank of the record.
scientificNameAuthorship Name of the author of the lowest taxon rank included in the record.

Additional information

A total of of 1,487 specimens of Coccinellidae belonging to 19 species were sampled (see Table 2). The listed species are from one single sub-familiy (Coccinellinae) and four tribes; Chilocorini (one species), Coccidulini (11 species), Coccinellini (six species) and Noviini (one species). The number of species collected from each island differed; São Miguel (12 species), Graciosa (four species), Faial (four species), Pico (seven species) and São Jorge (seven species).

Table 2.

List of species with indication of number of individuals collected from each island. FAI - Faial; GRA - Graciosa; PIC - Pico; SJG - São Jorge; SMG - São Miguel. * refers to new species records for the island.

Species Tribe FAI GRA PIC SJG SMG Total
Adalia bipunctata (Linnaeus, 1758) Coccinellini 2 0 0 0 0 2
Adalia decempunctata (Linnaeus, 1758) Coccinellini 0 0 0 0 4 4
Chilocorus bipustulatus (Linnaeus, 1758) Chilocorini 0 0 0 0 25 25
Clitostethus arcuatus (Rossi, 1794) Scymnini 0 0 32 1 0 33
Coccinella undecimpunctata Linnaeus, 1758 Coccinellini 0 0 0 0 7 7
Myrrha octodecimguttata (Linnaeus, 1758) Coccinellini 0 0 3 0 0 3
Nephus (Geminosipho) reunioni (Fürsch 1974) Scymnini 0 0 0 0 1 1
Nephus (Nephus) voeltzkowi Weise, 1910 Scymnini 8 2 0 1 147 158
Novius cardinalis (Mulsant, 1850) Noviini 5 0 29 6 0 40
*Oenopia doublieri (Mulsant, 1846) Coccinellini 6* 0 0 0 0 6
*Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Linnaeus, 1758) Coccinellini 1* 0 0 0 0 1
Rhyzobius chrysomeloides (Herbst, 1792) Coccidulini 0 0 0 0 25 25
Rhyzobius litura (Fabricius, 1787) Coccidulini 1 0 0 0 63 64
*Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell, 1892) Coccidulini 0 0 3* 3 0 6
Scymnus (Pullus) subvillosus (Goeze, 1777) Scymnini 1 0 0 0 4 5
*Scymnus (Pullus) suturalis Thunberg 1795 Scymnini 0 0 0 0 6* 6
Scymnus (Scymnus) interruptus (Goeze, 1777) Scymnini 20 21 22 25 322 410
Scymnus (Scymnus) nubilus Mulsant, 1850 Scymnini 66 149 218 35 180 648
*Stethorus pusillus (Herbst, 1797) Stethorini 5 2* 26 6 4 43

Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Linnaeus, 1758), despite being previously listed to the Azores, but without island details by Soares et al. (2021b), is now recorded for the first time to Faial island. Oenopia doublieri (Mulsant, 1846) was recently recorded as new for the Azores by Borges et al. (2018) (Terceira Island in Paúl da Praia da Vitória) and now is recorded to an additional island (Faial). Three additional species, Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell, 1892), Scymnus (Pullus) suturalis Thunberg 1795 and Stethorus pusillus (Herbst, 1797), are new records to Pico, S. Miguel and Graciosa Islands, respectively.

Currently, the number of known species of ladybeetles in the Azores is 32 species (Soares et al. 2021b). The current list includes 30 confirmed species and two doubtful records (Table 3) and most of them considered exotic introduced species (n = 24) and only eight species are considered native. Two of the native species are endemic from the Macaronesian Region (Nephus flavopictus (Wollaston, 1854) and Pharoscymnus decemplagiatus (Wollaston, 1857)) (see Table 3).

Table 3.

Current checklist (by alphabetic order) of the Azorean ladybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Doubtful records are marked with an asterisk (*). COL. – establishment means, in which INTRO is an exotic species introduced in the Azores, NAT is a native non-endemic species and MAC is an endemic species from Macaronesia. The names of the islands are as follows: AZ- recorded for Azores with no mention to the island; COR - Corvo; FLO - Flores; FAI - Faial; PIC - Pico; GRA - Graciosa; SJG - São Jorge; TER, Terceira; SMG - São Miguel; SMR - Santa Maria.

Scientific name Col. AZ COR FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Adalia bipunctata (Linnaeus, 1758) INTR FAI SMG
Adalia decempunctata (Linnaeus, 1758) INTR COR FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Ceratomegilla undecimnotata (Schneider, 1792) INTR SMG
Chilocorus bipustulatus (Linnaeus, 1758) INTR SMG SMR
Clitostethus arcuatus (Rossi, 1794) INTR FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Coccinella septempunctata Linnaeus, 1758* INTR TER SMR
Coccinella undecimpunctata Linnaeus, 1758 INTR COR FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Delphastus catalinae (Horn, 1895) INTR SMG
Eriopis connexa (Germar, 1824)* INTR SMG
Hippodamia variegata (Goeze, 1777) INTR AZ
Myrrha octodecimguttata (Linnaeus, 1758) INTR SMG SMR
Nephus (Bipunctatus) bisignatus (Boheman, 1850) INTR SMR
Nephus (Geminosipho) reunioni (Fürsch, 1974) INTR SMG
Nephus (Nephus) flavopictus (Wollaston, 1854) MAC SJG TER SMG
Nephus (Nephus) voeltzkowi Weise, 1910 INTR COR GRA SJG TER SMG
Novius cardinalis (Mulsant, 1850) INTR COR FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Oenopia doublieri (Mulsant, 1846) INTR FAI TER
Pharoscymnus decemplagiatus (Wollaston, 1857) MAC AZ
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Linnaeus, 1758) INTR FAI
Rhyzobius chrysomeloides (Herbst, 1792) NAT SMG
Rhyzobius forestieri (Mulsant, 1853) INTR SMG
Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell, 1892) INTR FLO PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Rhyzobius litura (Fabricius, 1787) NAT FAI GRA TER SMG SMR
Scymniscus helgae (Fürsch, 1965) INTR FLO TER SMR
Scymnus (Neopullus) haemorrhoidalis Herbst, 1797 INTR SMR
Scymnus (Pullus) subvillosus (Goeze, 1777) NAT FAI SJG TER SMG SMR
Scymnus (Pullus) suturalis Thunberg, 1795 INTR FAI TER SMG SMR
Scymnus (Scymnus) interruptus (Goeze, 1777) NAT COR FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Scymnus (Scymnus) nubilus Mulsant, 1850 NAT COR FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR
Scymnus (Scymnus) rubromaculatus (Goeze, 1777) NAT AZ
Scymnus (Scymnus) schmidti Fürsch, 1958 INTR AZ
Stethorus pusillus (Herbst, 1797) NAT FLO FAI PIC GRA SJG TER SMG SMR

Doubtful records include Eriopis connexa (Germar, 1824) and Coccinella septempunctata Linnaeus, 1758. We never collected these species in our extensive sampling programmes. With regard to E. connexa, it could result from misidentification given that this Neotropical species was never recorded outside its native region. In the case of C. septempunctata, although its previous presence in the Azores is well documented, its extinction may have occurred after the end of the cultural cycle of cereals, these being preferential habitats of the species (Soares et al. 2018).

The three Islands with highest economic activity are the ones with more species recorded (S. Miguel -22; Terceira - 16 and Faial - 13). The exception is Santa Maria that also has many species recorded (17), that can be explained by the proximity to S. Miguel and commercial exchanges between both Islands.

Interestingly, the same Islands are also the most diverse in the native fauna: S. Miguel - 7; Terceira - 6; Faial - 5; Santa Maria - 5. Only S. Jorge Island also has similar native species richness (five species) (Table 3).

Five alien species to the Palearctic Region were introduced in this region, as biological control agents of crop pests: Delphastus catalinae (Horn, 1895), Nephus (Geminosipho) reunioni (Fürsch, 1974), Novius cardinalis (Mulsant, 1850), Rhyzobius forestieri (Mulsant, 1853) and Rhyzobius lophanthae (Blaisdell, 1892) (Soares et al. 2021b).

The majority of the specimens was collected on herbaceous plants, including coastal prairies and ruderal road vegetation.

Acknowledgements

This study was financed by FEDER in 85% and by Azorean Public funds by 15% through the Operational Programme Azores 2020, under the following projects AZORESBIOPORTAL–PORBIOTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072) and under the project ECO2-TUTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000081) and by the Official Forestry Services from the Regional Government of the Azores, through the research projects PICA (Utilização de agentes de controlo biológico para o combate a populações de afídeos em plantas endémicas produzidas em viveiro) and PICONIA (Controlo biológico de populações de pragas de plantas endémicas produzidas em viveiro). Isabel Borges was funded by a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) (POCI 2010).

References