Research Voucher Specimens

Entomology graduate students and faculty should be aware of their responsibility to deposit in the NC State University Insect Collection (or another institution) voucher specimens of the insects they research (Yoshimoto, C. M. 1978). Voucher specimens for entomology in North America. ESA Bulletin 24(2):141-2).

Bonnie Blaimer and Bob Blinn in the NCSU Insect Collection (M. Bertone - NCSU)

  1. Individuals embarking on studies that call for voucher specimens should plan carefully before the work is initiated. Such planning should involve direct consultation with entomologists knowledgeable in collection, identification, preservation, and storage of such specimens. When in doubt if vouchers are needed, individuals should check with the curators of the NC State University Insect Collection.
  2. For each species studied a short series of specimens, perhaps 10 of each sex, is preferable to a single specimen or to hundreds of duplicate specimens which take up valuable space in a collection. Each specimen must be correctly prepared and bear a special voucher label (available from the curators of the NC State University Insect Collection) clearly linking it to a specific research project, as well as an identification label and all the standard collection data (country and locality, date, collector or researcher, and such information as the host, etc.).
  3. Once a year, persons maintaining laboratory cultures used for research must preserve a few vouchers of all cultures in the NCSU Insect Collection.
  4. Theses and research manuscripts for publication must indicate where vouchers have been deposited and the names of specialists who have identified material. Referees and graduate advisory committees should insist that authors include such statements in their works, except in the case of very well-known species that are unlikely to be misidentified. Even in the latter case, however, voucher specimens must be preserved so that future entomologists can substantiate results.