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Increasing knowledge about the diverity of Brazilian insects on the basis of the collection Maria Aparecida Vulcano

Abstract

This project aims at incorporating so-called Vulcano entomological collection into the official holdings of the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo. The collection was built along a major portion of the 20th century, in the course of the long career of researcher Maria Aparecida Vulcano (in memoriam) and is currently in custody of her family. The collection includes unique and irreproducible records on biodiversity, and it is of utmost importance that it is preserved and made available for the scientific community in the long term. The Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo (MZUSP) has the mission of contributing to scientific improvement and the establishment of public policies on biodiversity through quality scientific research integrated with teaching and referenced by international standards. To train international-level research professors on Zoology through its graduate and postdoctoral programs, and to contribute to undergraduate education in tandem with research activities. Offer cultural products and non-formal education (outreach activities) to the various segments of the society through its long-term, temporary and itinerant public exhibitions. Those missions are embodied in its collections, around which activities of research, teaching, outreach and role as certified depository of voucher biodiversity material are organized. The Museum houses a unique and unparalleled collection of Zoology for Latin America, with approximately 12 million specimens, 8 million of which are insects. The present proposal aims to: 1) reveal the diversity of insects, mainly black flies (Simuliidae, Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera) and cicadas (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha, Cicadidae) from the Maria Aparecida Vulcano Collection, one of the first female entomologists in Brazil. The collection includes abundant material from localities today degraded or entirely destroyed, not available in other databases and not reproducible in the present. The collection is therefore of great scientific and historical value, including unique original geographical information on many insect taxa. This collection also comprises collections of researchers Otto Paulo Keller (cicadas) and Padre Francisco Silverio Pereira (beetles); 2) offer the scientific community access to this collection, after specialized technical curation and cataloguing, as well as tools for virtual access to the databases where the collection will be incorporated, enabling research on phylogenetic systematics, taxonomy, ecology, biogeography and evolutionary biology; 4) to compile and release a list of all material, including primary and secondary types, in the Maria Aparecida Vulcano collection. (AU)

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