The Italian check list “Fauna d’Italia” published in 1995 includes a list of 21 fireflies species (Audisio et al., 1995) but the catalogue proposed by the European Project does not comply with it, since it includes fewer species. The here reported list includes 16 species according to the European Project (deJong, 2014) plus Lamprohiza boieldieui and Lampyris vesuvius, which makes 18 species altogether. Even if this number is not comparable with the one of tropical regions, it is remarkable in the European scenario where Italy can boast of a rich firefly community thanks to the variety of its climate, altitude and geography.
It has to be noted that the list includes several endemic species, whose distribution is restricted to the many little Italian islands or specific small areas in the peninsula. Therefore special care should be promoted about the conservation of those endemic species or subspecies, given the restricted area where they can be recorded.
Among endemic species, first of all Lampyris sardiniae has to be cited (De Cock & Geishardt, 2007). Other endemic species belonging to genus Lampyris can be recorded on Italian islands and in southern regions: Lampyris ambigena, Lampyris brutia, Lampyris fuscata apuliae, Lampyris lareynii maculata. The genus Nyctophila also includes endemic species (N. bonvouloirii e N.calabriae). One more endemic species is Lamprohiza foliacea, recorded in Sardinia.
It follows a table summarizing the list of species recorded in Italy.
|Nyctophila (Olivier, 1884)||Nyctophila bonvouloirii||Sicily||Endemic|
|Nyctophila calabriae||South||Endemic (1)|
|Lampyris (Geoffroy, 1762)||Lampyris ambigena||Sicily||Endemic|
|Lampyris brutia||South||Endemic (3)|
|Lampyris fuscata||South||Endemic (4)|
|Lampyris fuscata fuscata|
|Lampyris fuscata apuliae|
|Lampyris lareynii maculata||Elba, Giglio, Ponziane islands|
|Lampyris noctiluca||North, South, Sicily|
|Lampyris raymondi||North, South, Sardinia|
|Lampyris sardiniae||Sardinia||Endemic (5)|
|Lampyris sardiniae sardiniae|
|Lampyris sardiniae brunnea|
|Lampyris vesuvius||Campania, Ponziane Islands|
|Lampyris vesuvius vesuvius|
|Lampyris vesuvius insularis|
|Lamprohiza (Motschulsky, 1852)||Lamprohiza boieldieui||North|
|Lamprohiza splendidula||North, South|
|Phosphaenus (Laporte Castelnau, 1833)||Phosphaenus hemipterus||North|
|Luciola (Laporte Castelnau, 1833)||Luciola italica||North, South,|
|Luciola lusitanica||North, South|
(1) Nyctophila calabriae: only Calabria.
(2) Nyctophila molesta: only Piemonte.
(3) Lampyris brutia: nota di Calabria.
(4) Lampyris fuscata: the ssp. apuliae was recorded only in the Penisola Salentina (Apulia).
(5) Lampyris sardiniae: the ssp. brunnea was recorded only in Asinara island (Sardinia).