Ecological Archives E094-162-A3

Ian S. Pearse, Florian Altermatt. 2013. Extinction cascades partially estimate herbivore losses in a complete Lepidoptera–plant food web. Ecology 94:1785–1794. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/12-1075.1

Appendix C. A table giving species-specific details on observed Lepidoptera extinctions.

Table C1. Regional Lepidoptera extinctions from Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Species were last observed between 1825 to 1979 and have not been recorded for at least 30 years. In total, 59 Lepidoptera species went regionally extinct. Of those, 18 were at their range margin in Baden-Wurttemberg, while the remaining 41 went extinct in an area that is within the center of their range. We assigned documented reasons of extinctions to all of the 59 species based on Ebert 1991–2005 and further references (see Material and Methods). Eight species extinctions could be attributed to the decline of their larval hosts. The regional extinctions of a further eight species could be attributed to habitat loss (mostly due to agricultural intensification), and the extinction of nine more species followed larger-scale declines throughout the southern range of the species - consistent with the effects of climate change. We could not identify a clear reason for 34 species. In these cases, the reason of extinction is either completely unknown and must remain speculative or the extinction was due to a complex interaction of multiple causes, possibly a combination of habitat and host loss and climate change. In the latter case, a combination of multiple factors leading to Lepidoptera extinction, it is very difficult to estimate the significance of individual factors, and we chose the more conservative approach to not assign it to a specific cause. All defined probable extinction causes are thus most likely underestimations. However, we have good knowledge on the host plants of all Lepidoptera species that went extinct due to unknown reasons, and in no case there were documented extinctions or serious population declines of their host plants. It is thus unlikely that host plant loss was the sole factor for the “unknown extinctions causes”, and it is generally agreed that many of these extinctions may be due to large scale habitat loss or habitat change.

Species

Family

Diet breadth

Year last observed

Population at range margin

Probable extinction cause

Acosmetia caliginosa

Noctuidae

monophag

1953

no

host-loss1

Cupido osiris

Lycaenidae

monophag

1929

yes

host-loss2

Eriogaster rimicola

Lasiocampidae

polyphag

1923

no

host-loss3

Eupithecia laquaearia

Geometridae

oligophag

1958

no

host-loss4

Periphanes delphinii

Noctuidae

narrow oligophag

1922

no

host-loss5

Setina roscida

Arctiidae

oligophag

1965

yes

host-loss6

Trichosea ludifica

Pantheidae

polyphag

1959

no

host-loss7

Zygaena cynarae

Zygaenidae

narrow oligophag

1957

yes

host-loss8

Bichroma famula

Geometridae

monophag

1953

yes

habitat change

Eupithecia denticulata

Geometridae

monophag

1954

no

habitat change

Hadena irregularis

Noctuidae

oligophag

1933

no

habitat change

Heliothis ononis

Noctuidae

polyphag

1987

no

habitat change

Lasiommata petropolitana

Nymphalidae

monophag

1896

yes

habitat change

Scopula decorata

Geometridae

monophag

1975

no

habitat change

Sideridis lampra

Noctuidae

oligophag

1968

yes

habitat change

Tephrina murinaria

Geometridae

oligophag

1965

no

habitat change

Arethusana arethusa

Nymphalidae

oligophag

1976

yes

large-scale decline: climate

Conistra fragariae

Noctuidae

polyphag

1920

no

large-scale decline: climate

Epirranthis diversata

Geometridae

polyphag

1927

no

large-scale decline: climate

Jodia croceago

Noctuidae

narrow oligophag

1965

no

large-scale decline: climate

Lamprosticta culta

Noctuidae

oligophag

1958

no

large-scale decline: climate

Meganephria bimaculosa

Noctuidae

narrow oligophag

1850

no

large-scale decline: climate

Polymixis flavicincta

Noctuidae

polyphag

1926

no

large-scale decline: climate

Shargacucullia thapsiphaga

Noctuidae

narrow oligophag

1875

no

large-scale decline: climate

Xanthia sulphurago

Noctuidae

polyphag

1829

no

large-scale decline: climate

Actebia praecox

Noctuidae

polyphag

1977

no

unknown

Agrochola humilis

Noctuidae

polyphag

1910

yes

unknown

Albocosta musiva

Noctuidae

polyphag

1933

yes

unknown

Ammobiota festiva

Arctiidae

polyphag

1939

no

unknown

Amphipyra livida

Noctuidae

oligophag

1825

yes

unknown

Arctia villica

Arctiidae

polyphag

1957

no

unknown

Arenostela semicana

Noctuidae

monophag

1850

no

unknown

Castoconvexa polygrammata

Geometridae

narrow oligophag

1958

no

unknown

Chamaesphecia leucopsiphormis

Sesiidae

monophag

1899

no

unknown

Coenobia rufa

Noctuidae

narrow oligophag

1974

no

unknown

Conistra veronicae

Noctuidae

oligophag

1899

yes

unknown

Eilema palliatella

Arctiidae

oligophag

1954

no

unknown

Enthephria flavicinctata

Geometridae

oligophag

1971

no

unknown

Epione vespertaria

Geometridae

polyphag

1974

no

unknown

Eriogaster catax

Lasiocampidae

polyphag

1976

no

unknown

Eumasia parietariella

Psychidae

oligophag

1976

yes

unknown

Eupithecia breviculata

Geometridae

oligophag

1973

yes

unknown

Euxoa birivia

Noctuidae

oligophag

1953

no

unknown

Hyphoraia aulica

Arctiidae

polyphag

1954

no

unknown

Hypoxystis pluviaria

Geometridae

oligophag

1892

no

unknown

Lithophane consocia

Noctuidae

oligophag

1973

no

unknown

Luperina nickerlii

Noctuidae

oligophag

1972

no

unknown

Lycophotina molothina

Noctuidae

monophag

1966

no

unknown

Malacosoma franconicum

Lasiocampidae

polyphag

1840

no

unknown

Pabulatrix pabulatricula

Noctuidae

narrow oligophag

1912

no

unknown

Pachythelia villosella

Psychidae

polyphag

1978

no

unknown

Phyllodesma ilicifolia

Lasiocampidae

oligophag

1979

no

unknown

Pyrgus carthami

Hesperiidae

narrow oligophag

1979

yes

unknown

Pyrgus onopordi

Hesperiidae

narrow oligophag

1928

yes

unknown

Pyrois cinnamomea

Noctuidae

polyphag

1875

yes

unknown

Spaelotis ravida

Noctuidae

polyphag

1982

no

unknown

Spaelotis suecica

Noctuidae

oligophag

1973

yes

unknown

Stegania dilectaria

Geometridae

monophag

1901

no

unknown

Triphosa sabaudiata

Geometridae

monophag

1982

yes

unknown

Remarks on extinctions due to host loss:

1. Larvae feed only on Serratula tinctoria, and the local loss of the host plant has been documented multiple times as the cause of extinction (e.g., Kraus 1993). Ebert (1991–2005) specifically mentions that the loss of the host plant has caused local extinctions of the moth, in combination with a large-scale decline of Central European populations.

2. Sheep have selectively grazed off the larval host plant Onobrychis viciifolia, and caused a local loss of the host plant (Schneider and Wörz 1936), followed by subsequent butterfly extinction.

3. The species depends on park-like groves of old-grown oak trees. Declines of the moths have already attributed to host-plant loss by Rössler (1866).

4. The larvae depend on Euphrasia rostkoviana and Odontites luteus. Especially populations of the latter plant species have strongly declined, and become more fragmented. The plant is now endangered, and Ebert (1991–2005) gave the loss of this host plant as the most likely reason of the local extinction of the moth.

5. Bergmann (1954) and Forster and Wohlfahrt (1971) identified the loss of segetal-vegetation (and the large-scale decline of the only host plant Delphinium consolida) as the main reason for the local extinction of the moths. This view is challenged by Heinicke and Naumann (1980), who disagree on the reason of extinction, but who agree that the loss of the host plant disables a successful re-colonization.

6. The larva is restricted to a few very locally occurring lichens (Toninia caeruleonigricans, Fulgenisa fulgens and Spora decipiens). Populations of these lichens declined very strongly since about 1950, and are now almost gone (Wilmanns et al. 1989).

7. The species depended strongly on old-grown Sorbus aucuparia trees and associated lichen- and moss communities. Bergmann (1954) and Heusler, Jöst and Roesler (1969) identified the loss of these trees as the main reason for the decline and local extinction of the moth.

8. Larvae feed only on Peucedanum oreoselinum, a plant species that is declining in Baden-Württemberg. The species was originally found in only one location (Ebert 1991–2005), in an open, sandy steppe-like habitat. Regrowth of forest and habitat change resulted in the local loss of the host plant (and possible also microclimatic conditions) and subsequent local extinction of the species.

Literature cited

Bergmann A. 1954. Die Grossschmetterlinge Mitteldeutschlands. Vol. 4: Eulen–Verbreitung, Formen und Lebensgemeinschaften. Urania, Jena.

Ebert, G., editor. 1991–2005. Die Schmetterlinge Baden-Württembergs. Ulmer, Stuttgart, Germany.

Forster W., and T. A. Wohlfahrt. 1971. Die Schmetterlinge Mitteleuropas. Vol. 4. Eulen (Noctuidae), Franckh, Stuttgart, Germany.

Heinicke W., and C Naumann. 1980. Beiträge zur Insektenfauna der DDR: Lepidoptera–Noctuidae. Beiträge zur Entomologie 30: 385–448.

Heuser, R., H. Jöst, and R. Roesler. 1960. Die Lepidopterenfauna der Pfalz. Systematisch-chorologischer Teil. III. Eulen. Mitteilungen der Pollichia des pfälzischen Vereins für Naturkunde 7:220–296.

Kraus W. 1993. Verzeichnis der Grossschmetterlinge (Insecta: Lepidoptera) der Pfalz. Pollochia 27:1–618.

Rössler A. 1866. Verzeichniss der Schmetterlinge des Herzogthums Nassau, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der biologischen Verhältnisse und der Entwicklungsgeschichte. Niedner, Wiesbaden.

Schneider, C., and A. Wörz. 1936. Die Lepidopterenfauna von Würzburg. Jahrbuch des Vereins vaterländische Naturkunde Württemberg 92:181–208.

Wilmanns, O., W. Wimmernauer, and G. Fuchs. 1989. Der Kaiserstuhl: Gesteine und Pflanzenwelt. Ulmer, Stuttgart, Germany.


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