The role of voucher specimens in validating faunistic and ecological research
- What Constitutes a Voucher Specimen?
- Preparation and Deposition of Vouchers
- Current Requirements, Policies and Recommendations on Vouchers
- How Many Specimens? Guidelines on Depositing Vouchers
- The Benefits of Depositing Vouchers (and the costs of not doing so)
- Deposition of vouchers permits long term studies
- Deposition of vouchers permits correction of published errors
- Deposition of vouchers permits resolution of species limits
- Lack of vouchers renders published results unverifiable
Deposition of vouchers permits resolution of species limits
Franclemont (1980) addressed the taxonomic status of a widespread species of Noctuidae and and Munroe (1973) did the same for a “cosmopolitan” pest species of Pyralidae. In each case, the supposedly widespread species actually represented a complex of closely related, but previously unrecognised species. As a result, any previous publications on the ecology, behaviour, physiology, etc. of those species in North America would be suspect in the absence of documented voucher specimens that could be compared to the revised species limits and revised keys. These two examples from Lepidoptera are by no means unique; there are numerous examples from other orders, including many medically and economically significant taxa, in which changing species limits rendered older work essentially useless in the absence of vouchers.
Harper and Harper (1981) used extensive voucher collections of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) collected by the Canadian Northern Insect Survey and the Service de l’Environnement de la Société de la Baie James to document significant range extensions and one new species in the arctic mayfly fauna. Similarly, Ricker (1966) used old museum specimens from arctic surveys to resolve distribution patterns of northern Canadian stoneflies (Plecoptera).
- ← Deposition of vouchers permits correction of published errors
- Lack of vouchers renders published results unverifiable →
Page updated on Feb 23, 2014