This species was described from an inexact locality in the “Cape of Good Hope” and shows a narrow distribution along the dry to arid south-western coastline of South Africa, from Bloubergstrand on the northern outskirts of Cape Town to Port Nolloth in Namaqualand, close to the Namibian border (Harrison et al. 2003). The estimated extent of occurrence of this species lies between 13,750 and 22,150 km2, the latter accounting for sea area, the former subtracting sea area as areas of unsuitable habitat. It is likely to have a more restricted area of occupancy of probably no more than 3,000 km2 based on the area of relatively intact habitat in the centre of this species' range.
Habitat and Ecology
The species occurs on vegetated soft to firm sand of coastal hummocks and hillocks, the periphery of dune systems, and river beds and banks. It has been recorded in low numbers (0.1 per trap) in West Coast National Park (Davis 1993). At the northern extremes of its range, it is apparently restricted to a narrow coastal strip of cool deep sands, as it was not recorded further inland. This species may show pheromone release behaviour.
This species is found on coastal sands in the southwest part of the Lowland fynbos and renosterveld ecoregion (AT1202) and the Succulent Karoo ecoregion (AT1322) (ecoregions based on Olson et al. 2001).
Some environmental characteristics for 78 locality records are as follows: altitude: mean: 85 ± 75 (S.D.), range: 0.3-308 m; annual rainfall: mean: 144 ± 63 (S.D.), range: 63-300 mm; annual temperature: mean: 17.2 ± 1.1 (S.D.), range: 14.5-18.6oC (max. + min. / 2).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Pachysoma hippocrates
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pachysoma hippocrates
Public Records: 61
Specimens with Barcodes: 64
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Pachysoma hippocrates has been currently assessed as Least Concern. Although this flightless species has been found only at low population densities within West Coast National Park, this may be representative of population densities throughout its range, which is restricted to an extent of occurrence of between 13,750 and 22,150 km2 and an area of occupancy of probably no more than 3,000 km2. Therefore, by extent of occurrence the species qualifies or very nearly qualifies for the area threshold under criterion B1. The species is experiencing threats and probable declines in range and population size at the southern and northern parts of its range due to habitat conversion by agricultural interests and coastal developments and through habitat degradation from mining interests. Although it does receive some protection from its occurrence within West Coast National Park, surveys are required to ensure that it is sufficiently protected elsewhere to avoid attaining Near Threatened status.
There are few quantitative population data for this species. However, it has been recorded at low population density in West Coast National Park (Davis 1993).
Although there are some threats at the extremes of the species range at Bloubergstrand and Port Nolloth much of its intervening range may be relatively intact. In the south, the species may be threatened by habitat modification for urban coastal developments and agriculture whereas in the north it may be threatened by coastal mining for diamonds.
There are no species-specific conservation actions in place for this species. Although the species may be threatened by coastal developments and farming in the southern part of its range and by coastal mining for diamonds in the northern part of its range, it is protected within the borders of the West Coast National Park and the proposed Groen-Spoeg National Park.
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