Rubroboletus demonensis

Rubroboletus demonensis


Сицилијански вргањ



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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Rubroboletus demonensis


Vasquez, Simonini, Svetasheva, Mikšík & Vizzini



Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

VU – Vulnerable D1

Date assessed

November 2020


Tofilovska, S.


Kost, G.

Mešić, A.


Karadelev, M.

Rusevska, K.

Jovanovski, T.


Miskovic, M.


Rubroboletus demonensis is a thermophilic species found in warm and humid deciduous forests of oak, beech and sweet chestnut, on siliceous soil. In North Macedonia, it is a rare species present at only two sites in the mountains of German and Pelister, at an elevation of ca. 1,300 m. Bolete species within this group are extremely rare in the country. Taking into consideration predicted sites, too, a population size of a maximum of 400 mature individuals is estimated with only a few individuals per subpopulation. The species is largely threatened by loss and degradation of its natural habitat due to logging activities and creation of bare land, however additional data is needed in order to estimate precisely the population trend of the fungus. Therefore, the species is categorized as vulnerable under criteria D1.


Current population trend



Rubroboletus demonensis was described in 2017 to accommodate specimens previously reported as Boletus rhodopurpureus f. polypurpureus (2006), Boletus rubrosanguineus (2007), and Boletus legaliae (2012) as well as new findings (Tibpromma et al. 2017). Consequently, albeit it has been published only recently, in terms of its ecology, it is not a scarcely known species. In North Macedonia, species within this bolete group (R. rubrosanguineus, R. legaliae) sharing similar ecological preferences are rarely found, at no more than five sites in total, R. demonensis inclusive.

Rubroboletus demonensis is an extremely rare species, recorded at only two sites, with one mature individual per site. In view of the fact that it has been reported from oak and beech forest on siliceous soil, also taking into consideration predicted sites, a population size of a maximum of 400 mature individuals is estimated (based on: the probable total number of sites in the country (maximum 20), the estimated number of functional individuals at each locality (estimated to be two) and the template of how many mature individuals each reproducing genotype may give rise to (template used ten)). Habitat reduction is observed and degraded quality of forest stands, however additional data is needed in order to estimate precisely the population trend of the fungus.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

It is a thermophilic species occurring in warm and mesic deciduous forests of oak (Quercus pubescens, Q. cerris, Q. congesta and Q. virgiliana, rarely Q. ilex), sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), and at higher elevations it is mycorrhizal with beech (Fagus sylvatica). In a few cases, it has been observed in mixed deciduous and coniferous woods (Pinus nigra and Taxus baccata) (Tibpromma et al. 2017). It prospers on acid and siliceous soils, producing sporocarps from late spring to early autumn, mostly in June and September after rainfall; dry seasons are not suitable for its growth. Its fruitbodies grow gregariously.

It is an extremely rare species in the country, it has been spotted in association with oak and mixed forest of beech and silver fir in humid locations. It occurs at only two sites, in the mountains of German and Pelister, at an elevation of ca. 1,300 m; the locality in Pelister Mt is outside the national park boundaries and represents one of the uppermost oak stand in the country. Based on species ecology and availability of suitable habitats, an estimation of probable total number of sites was made at 20.

Use and trade

Use and trade

Most probably poisonous. It is not subject of trade.



Rubroboletus demonensis population is in threat mostly due to habitat loss. It is threatened by logging of oak and beech trees used as firewood and by repurposing of land. Currently, 91% of the total forest-covered area in North Macedonia is managed, and the largest part of it (93%) is regarded as productive forest. In practice, the silvicultural system has clear-cutting in oak forests and in some places of beech forests too; as a result bare lands and even-aged forests are created while old growth forests are in decline (Trajkov et al. 2016, Kolevska et al. 2017). In North Macedonia, ca. 1% of forests are logged annually by the national forestry management service (Kolevska et al. 2017, State Statistics Office 2018) and illegal logging is considerably high, with additional 30% to legal wood extraction. According to the National action plan for fight against desertification in the Republic of Macedonia (2017) in the 2000–2012 period, a decrease of 35,000 ha (4%) of forest area had occurred based on analysis of CORINE land cover. Therefore, the quality of the appropriate habitat is continuously reducing, posing a major threat to maintenance of a stable fungus population.

Construction works and other human activities near the villages are a further threat causing a decrease of the habitat area and quality.

Since the species thrives in humid Mediterranean climate areas, the warming climate and the projected rainfall drop may cause a decrease of fruiting and lesser chances for species dispersal.

Diseases of the ectomycorrhizal partners with varying degrees of intensity have been reported (DPRS 2019).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

Conservation needed: The already known sites must be conserved and strictly protected against utilisation of the ectomycorrhizal partner or land use. Due to the type of silvicultural management of oak and beech forests, in order to maintain a good habitat quality in the country, it is vital to constitute forest reserves and designate woodland key biotopes. At places of logging activities, instead of clear-cutting, trees of various age should be left on site to ensure development of suitable habitats. Reforestation with alien tree species should not be applied.

Research needed: Regular annual monitoring at the established sites, accompanied by field research at potential sites, seeking to explore the distribution and dynamics of occurrence of Rubroboletus demonensis.

It is advisable to digitize and regularly update forest inventories and forestry plans. There is a necessity of elaboration of a habitat map in the country and designing of appropriate policy of forest management for maintenance of a suitable habitat for the fungus.



Dahlberg, A. and Mueller, G.M. 2011. Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4(2): 147-162.

Diagnostic Prognostic Reporting Service of Republic of Macedonia (DPRS). 2019. Report on the state of plant diseases and pests in natural and newly established forest plantations in the Republic of Macedonia. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy – Sector for Forestry, pp. 89, Skopje.

Index Fungorum Partnership. 2020. Index Fungorum. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Chinese Academy of Science (the custodians). Available at:

Kolevska, D.D., Blinkov, I., Trajkov, P. and Maletić, V. 2017. Reforestation in Macedonia: History, current practice and future perspectives. Reforesta 3: 155-184. DOI:

Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. 2017. National Action Plan for Combating Desertification in the Republic of Macedonia. Support to the Republic of Macedonia for the development of a National Action Plan in line with the 10-year Strategy of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Convention reporting process by UNEP. Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of Macedonia, pp. 205, Skopje.

Tibpromma, S., Hyde, K.D., Jeewon, R., Maharachchikumbura, S.S.N., et al., 2017. Fungal Diversity 83: 190. Rubroboletus demonensis Vasquez, Simonini, Svetasheva, Mikšík & Vizzini.

Trajkov, P., Nestorovski, L. and Trajanov, Z. 2016. The Republic of Macedonia. Chapter 36. In: C Vidal et al. (ed.), National Forest Inventories, Assessment of Wood Availability and Use, pp. 667-682. Springer International Publishing Switzerland. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-44015-6_36