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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versão On-line ISSN 2007-8706versão impressa ISSN 1870-3453


SUAZO-ORTUNO, Ireri; DEL VAL-DE GORTARI, Ek  e  BENITEZ-MALVIDO, Julieta. Rediscovering an extraordinary vanishing bug: Llaveia axin axin. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2013, vol.84, n.1, pp.338-346. ISSN 2007-8706.

The "aje" (Llaveia axin axin) is a parasitic hemipteran of various tree species in tropical dry forests of Mexico and Guatemala. Females produce fatty extracts used since prehispanic times (i.e., traditional medicine and as raw material to produce handcrafts). However, very little is known about its biology and conservation status. In Michoacán and Guerrero States (Mexico), fifteen localities with historical reports of "aje" were visited 4 times (2006-2007). The incidence, seasonal abundance and distribution, host species, tree size and section preference, were determined. Only 3 populations in 2 localities were found at low altitudes (< 300 m asl), close to water sources, with only 1 host tree, Acacia cochliacantha. Females were mostly found at the base of the trunk, but showed no preference for any tree size. July (2007) was the month with greater abundance. The "aje" seems highly threatened with local extinction, due to their fragmented relict populations and rapid destruction of its habitat and host species, which is considered as a weed. More basic information on its biology and population dynamics is urgently needed to implement any conservation strategy. In addition, the management of the "aje" should take into consideration biological, pharmacological and cultural connotations.

Palavras-chave : aje; insects in human cultures; Margarodidae; Mexico; scale insects; tropical dry forests; useful insects.

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