The inventory of selected groups of terrestrial arthropods in three coastal wetlands from Terceira Island (Azores)
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During a LIFE project dedicated to the implementation of the conservation of the habitats and restoration of coastal wet areas of Praia da Vitória (Terceira, Azores, Portugal), there was the opportunity to study several groups of arthropods in three wet 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 implantation of several conservation measures. This project contributed also to improve the knowledge of Azorean arthropod diversity at both local and regional scales also 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. A total of 15,810 specimens belonging to 216 arthropod species and subspecies were collected. Beetles (Insecta, Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae) dominate, with 81 and 51 taxa respectively. Two beetle families dominate, Staphylinidae and Curculionidae with respectively 22 and 17 species and subspecies. Exotic species also dominate with 131 species and subspecies, the Azorean endemic taxa being restricted to only eight taxa. The remaining 77 species and subspecies are native non-endemic. A total of six species are novel for the Azores (five exotic and one possibly native) and an additional 15 taxa are novel for Terceira island (9 exotic and 6 native).