WHO WON OUR CALL - Ruschel: “BiCIKL can rescue neglected taxonomic groups: Cicadidae is one of them”

11 May 2023

Today we’re going to South America, to discover how BiCIKL inspired interest on the other side of the world, too. We’re meeting Tatiana Ruschel - Programa de Pós-Graduação de Biodiversidade Animal, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She replied to our call with her project “Rescuing the taxonomy of Brazilian cicadas: linking taxonomic data with genes, taxonomic names and specimens

How did you find out about BiCIKL and this call?

I learnt about BiCIKL working for Plazi and helping with previously approved projects.

Why did you apply? To address what challenge/need?

Cicadidae is a neglected taxonomic group in Brazil. We want to create a database for Cicadidae of Brazil, making papers in which these species are cited available. The taxonomic treatments, figures, identification keys, synonyms, treatment citations and material citations contained in these articles will be made available to researchers through repositories such as TreatmentBank (TB), Biodiversity Literature Repository (BLR), and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), following the FAIR principles. We hope that making these data FAIR will help and encourage scientific studies including these species.

How would BiCIKL help in addressing this challenge?

We need to upload and process publications including each species, link previous descriptions, and link material citations with occurrences. So, we require the services of five research infrastructures: TreatmentBank for processing; Biodiversity Literature Repository to get the DOI for the treatments and figures; Catalogue of Life to get a list of Cicadidae names and their citations of publications; ENA to get the persistent identifiers for possible DNA sequences cited in the article; and GBIF to get occurrences (preserved specimens) to match the material citations. BiCIKL will support it via its Transnational Access (TNA).

Who will benefit from your project?

Any researcher who is interested in obtaining information about the species of cicadas that occur in Brazil or beyond, such as occurrence data, taxonomic data (treatments, figures, list of names and their citations of publications), molecular data (persistent identifiers for possible DNA sequences).

What would you consider a success for your project?

Treatments, figures, and material citations liberated from target publications as FAIR data with persistent identifiers, if possible linked to the cited specimens and gene sequences.

What can BiCIKL do for your community/group?

Currently, about 160 species are recorded for the country, but the biodiversity estimate is much higher. Some species are considered pests in Brazil, especially in coffee crops. The dissemination of this project can arouse the interest of the scientific community in new taxonomists' work with the group and also the interest in submitting similar projects to BiCIKL including other neglected taxonomic groups. Also, to convince citizens to post more pictures of cicadas on the iNaturalist platform to complement our citizen science project "Cigarras do Brasil" on social networks and on iNaturalist with more observations:

How would you sum up the project in a quote?

Cicadas are a neglected taxonomic group in Brazil with 160 species recorded for the country. Databases are useful because they store and give access to a huge variety of information in one place. Our goal is to create a database for the Cicadidae of Brazil containing a list of valid species and relevant information, e.g. synonyms, treatments, treatment citations, identification keys, material citations, figures, link to types, and link to genes. The publications relative to these species will be uploaded and processed, making these data FAIR, available in TreatmentBank; Biodiversity Literature Repository; Catalogue of Life, and European Nucleotide Archive.