Alves-Martins, F., Stropp, J., Juen, L., Ladle, R.J., Lobo, J.M., Martinez-Arribas, J., Júnior, P.D.M., Brasil, L.S., Ferreira, V.R.S., Bastos, R.C., Córdoba-Aguilar, A., Medina-Espinoza, E.F., Dutra, S., Vilela, D.S., Cordero-Rivera, A., Palacio, A.d., Ramírez, A., Carvalho-Soares, A.A., Farias, A.B.S., Resende, B.O.d., Santos, B.d., Bota-Sierra, C.A., Mendoza-Penagos, C.C., Veras, D.S., Anjos-Santos, D., Périco, E., González-Soriano, E., Roque, F.d.O., Lozano, F., Carvalho, F.G.d., Lencioni, F.A.A., Palacino-Rodríguez, F., Ortega-Salas, H., Venâncio, H., Sanmartín-Villar, I., Muzón, J., Santos, J.C., Montes-Fontalvo, J., Brito, J.d.S., Pereira, J.L.d.S., Oliveira-Junior, J.M.B., Dias-Silva, K., Ferreira, K.G., Calvão, L.B., Pérez-Gutiérrez, L.A., Rodrigues, M.E., Dalzochio, M.S., Rocha-Ortega, M., Ellenrieder, N.v., Hamada, N., Pessacq, P., Rodríguez, P., Martins, R.T., Guillermo-Ferreira, R., Koroiva, R., Miguel, T.B., Mendes, T.P., Neiss, U.G., Almeida, W.R.d., & Hortal, J. (2024) Sampling completeness changes perceptions of continental scale climate–species richness relationships in odonates. Journal of Biogeography, doi:10.1111/jbi.14810

Insects are one of the least studied taxa, with most species lacking basic ecological and biogeographical information. This problem is particularly acute in the tropics, where low sampling effort hampers accurate estimates of species richness at scale and potentially confounds efforts to identify the drivers of biogeographical gradients. Here, we evaluate the quality of the data on the distribution and diversity of odonate species in the Neotropics, while also examining the influence of sampling completeness on climate–richness relationships using a comprehensive database of odonates.Using 56,535 records collected from 1970 to 2021, we assess whether climate–species richness models vary under different scenarios of survey completeness. Our survey compilation revealed that most Neotropical diversity of Odonata likely remains unknown. Only 1% of the one-degree cells covering the Neotropics held reliable information on odonate species richness, with particularly severe gaps in the Caribbean, Central America, northeastern Brazil and northern Chile. Temperature, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration exert consistent effects on Odonata richness across the entire Neotropics, regardless the level of survey completeness. Whereas seasonality-related variables are less important predictors of species richness at the biogeographical scale.By highlighting areas where inventories are more reliable and identifying regions that require increased data collection efforts and mobilization, our assessment offers a roadmap for improving the reliability of odonate inventories in the Neotropics. Furthermore, our findings underscore the importance of accounting for varying levels of survey completeness in macroecological models to reveal robust climate–species richness relationships. Simultaneously, they highlight strong climatic predictors of species richness, irrespective of survey effort intensity. These predictors provide a solid foundation for modelling and predicting odonate species richness in the Neotropics.