Lighting up the Understudied but Charismatic fireflies of Europe: mentoring early-career researchers to improve access to knowledge on fireflies of the Italian Peninsula Hotspot using TETTRIs’ name matching and linking workflows - L.U.C.E.

The Italian peninsula biodiversity hotspot is home to 22 lampyrid firefly species, 10 of which are endemic. The species definitions are male-biased and ill-defined since integrative taxonomic treatments of fireflies in this region are lacking. Moreover, these species are poorly represented in databases such as GBIF and GenBank, highlighting a paucity of information on such charismatic insects that does not reflect their representation in Italian institutions nor public interest. We will overcome these shortfalls by mentoring 12 early-career researchers to collaboratively revise and improve global access to knowledge on the rich firefly diversity of the peninsula, using TETTRIs’ name-matching and linking workflows. This mentoring program will leverage a mass digitization of specimens from across the peninsula with newly generated geographical, morphological, and molecular information. This data will be used to revisit species boundaries of fireflies across the Italian Peninsula biodiversity hotspot, filling out important knowledge gaps on this region’s fauna.



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