A voucher is a critical element in the scientific process. It is a representative of the organism dealt with in a biological study. Insect voucher specimens, properly preserved and deposited at recognized and publicly accessible research collections, are the only reliable means to verify the identity of the taxon/taxa studied if and when questions arise.
In addition to their role as permanent reference of the organisms in a particular study, voucher specimens are also valuable resources for other collections-based scientific studies, particularly in the field of taxonomy and systematics.
The C. A. Triplehorn Insect Collection (OSUC) strongly recommends the deposition of vouchers for all insect research studies at the organismal level, independent of the nature or the objective of the project. In general, a short series of males and females of each species should be deposited as vouchers, but the number of vouchers will depend on the type and scope of the original study. We invite faculty, students and staff at The Ohio State University to deposit voucher specimens of their target taxa in the collection. We also welcome voucher depositions from researchers that are not affiliated with OSU and the deposition of relevant personal collections.
Vouchering requires careful planning and preparation. Researchers developing a new study project are strongly encouraged to contact the Curator of the Triplehorn collection to receive specific information on voucher preparation and deposition.
A-B-C to Voucher Deposition
Voucher specimens should be in good condition, properly preserved and labeled. Applicable collecting documentation (include collecting permits, export and import permits) is required for the deposition of vouchers.
Insect vouchers specimens should be pinned or point-mounted, unless recommended otherwise by the Curator. Ideally, we recommend 6-10 voucher specimens of each sex per taxon for each of the treatments, populations, collecting localities, but will consider longer series depending on the nature of the study, space availability in the collection and interest of the taxa. In the case of long series of specimens of the same species or of a very common species, we may be able to accept only a subset of the specimens.
All voucher specimens should be a) in good condition, i.e., with all or most appendages intact and b) properly prepared and labeled prior to deposition. Label data for recently collected specimens should contain: collecting locality (including GPS coordinates, country, state, municipality), date of collection (preferably with day, month and year), collector(s) name(s), method of collection and other pertinent details (habitat, host, etc.) as available. Specimens should bear a determination label with taxon name and author, name of determiner and year of determination. All labels should be clearly legible, preferably printed in font Arial or equivalent, 4-point font, in heavy-weight, acid-free, 100% rag paper.
In addition to collecting and determination labels, we recommend that each voucher specimen receive a unique specimen identifier prior to publication. Ideally this unique id should become part of the specimen information and be reported in every publication (traditional or electronic) where the vouchers are cited. The Triplehorn collection uses a small plastic barcode label with the unique specimen id. Upon request, barcode labels will be made available to scientists depositing their specimens in the collection.
Contact the Curator for more information on voucher preparation and unique specimen identifiers.
Voucher specimens are incorporated into the general collection, according to the taxonomic determination. Each voucher receives a green “voucher specimen” label, containing the name of the researcher and the year of the deposition to facilitate finding the specimens in the future. Label data for all voucher specimens are recorded into our specimen database and made freely available online to the public.
The Triplehorn Insect Collection should be clearly identified as the voucher repository on all traditional and electronic publications citing or resulting from the study of the vouchers, including databases and web pages. Citation should be as follows: “C.A. Triplehorn Insect Collection (OSUC), The Ohio State University.”
The following information is required by the Collection for all voucher depositions:
- Copy of Collecting Permits (when applicable)
- Copy of Export/Import Permits (when applicable)
- Title and brief description of research project (when applicable)
- Name of person(s) depositing voucher specimens
- Number of vouchers being deposited
- Date of deposit
Sample of Studies with Vouchers Deposited at the Triplehorn Collection
Agricultural & Pest Control (Natural & Chemical Control, Host Preference, etc.) –
Chordas III, S. W. & C. T. McAllister. 2012. The southern pine seed bug, Leptoglossus corculus (Hemiptera: Coreidae): new for Oklahoma. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 92:73-74.
Uppstrom, K.A. & H. Klompen. 2011. Mites (Acari) associated with the desert seed harvester ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr). Psyche 2011: 1-7. DOI:10.1155/2011/974646
Ecology & Faunistics (Surveys, New State Records, Environmental Impact Assessments, etc.) –
Perry, Kayla I. & D. A. Herms. 2016. Short-Term Responses of Ground Beetles to Forest Changes Caused by Early Stages of Emerald Ash Borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)-Induced Ash Mortality. Environmental Entomology 45 (3): 616-626. DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvw038
Williams, R.N., E.G. Chapman, T.A. Ebert & D.M. Hartzler. 2007. Aquatic beetles in the Ravenna Training and Logistics site of northeastern Ohio. The Coleopterists Bulletin 61(1):41-55.
Insect Biology (Development, Phenology, Physiology, etc.) –
Gandhi, K.J.K. & D.A. Herms. 2008. Report on the largest known occurrence of morphological anomalies in ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae. The Coleopterists Bulletin 62(1):104-113.
Biodiversity & Systematics –
Reeves, W. K., A. D. Loftis, and J. Beck. 2013. A new species of Nycterophilia (Diptera: Streblidae) from the Antillean fruit-eating bat, Brachyphylla cavernarum (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae). Journal of Entomological Science 48(2): 114-117.
Zahniser, J.N. 2010. An enigmatic new leafhopper genus, Protochiasmus (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae, Deltocephalinae), from Brazil. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 57(2): 271–274 / DOI: 10.1002/mmnd.201000024.
Caesar, R.M. & J.W. Wenzel. 2009. A phylogenetic test of classical species groups in Argia (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Entomologica Americana 115(2):97-108.
Page last updated 11 February 2017