The Fireflies of Ohio project integrates species exploration and documentation, including DNA-barcoding of all discovered morpho-species, and documentation of geographic distribution of recognized species found in museums to create a strong baseline for future studies. We hope that the project will promote knowledge and appreciation of insect biodiversity, museum collections, and entomology in general. This project offers a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience in species exploration, discovery, and documentation. Students will also be encouraged to share their experience and findings with the general public through blog posts, poster presentations, Museum Open House displays, collection social media sites, etc. Project results, images, and natural history information about the species of fireflies found in the area will be freely available via the Triplehorn Insect Collection database, blog platform, and website.
UPDATE: Two undergraduate researchers, Martha Drake and Danny Phillips, have spent 10-15 hrs/week during the summer 2018 learning how to conduct field inventory suing Malaise traps, how to handle scientific samples and specimens, how to recognize fireflies among other families of beetles, how to separate specimens of target firefly genera into morphological units (morphospecies), and how to extract, amplify, and sequence DNA from insect specimens. For timely updates on our progress, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.