The marine biodiversity of the Tricase coastal area (Ionian Sea, Italy) was investigated at the MARE Outpost (Avamposto MARE) between 2016 and 2017, with the help of citizen scientists and trained taxonomists. Among the most interesting groups encountered, heterobranch molluscs deserve a special mention. Altogether, 268 specimens were ascribed to this group and referred to 49 taxa. Notwithstanding the extensive literature on Mediterranean heterobranchs, two species proved to be new to the Italian coasts, the records of eight species represented their easternmost sightings in the Mediterranean Sea, and 13 taxa represented new records for the Ionian Sea. In addition, several feeding habits and phenological events were new to science. Although the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive lists “Biodiversity is maintained” as the first descriptor in achieving “Good Environmental Status”, our results highlighted the presence of conspicuous gaps in the knowledge of species distribution, taxonomy and ecology of heterobranch molluscs, indicating the necessity of even small-scale species checklists to understand biodiversity changes in worldwide biota.
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