Termites are an insect group relevant for recycling of organic matter, but they are also biodeteriogenic and may cause serious damages to wooden structures (including historical buildings and ancient libraries) in anthropogenic environments. The collection of Italian and foreign termites gathered over the years by Antonio Springhetti, Professor of Zoology at the University of Ferrara (Ferrara, Italy) and internationally renowned entomologist, contains over 44,000 specimens, collected by Springhetti during his field campaigns or donated by other entomologists from all over the world. The collection is currently preserved at the Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology of the University of Ferrara. Unfortunately, all documents, publications and notes concerning the Springhetti Collection were lost; thus, in 2020, the collection was completely re-catalogued within the University Museum System and analyzed in detail. The collection contains specimens dating back to 1878 and represents not only a valuable scientific tool for studies on these ecologically relevant insects that may cause damages to historical buildings, ancient books and artworks but also an important cultural asset for the University Museum System.
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