Voucher Specimens

 All students are required to submit voucher specimens to the Curator of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum (LSAM) documenting species studied in their theses or dissertation research.  A voucher specimen is any specimen that is the subject of study and is retained as a reference.  For optimal utility, voucher specimens should be housed in a museum that can properly preserve, curate, and make them available for further study.  They should be part of a publicly accessible scientific reference collection.

Guidelines for voucher specimens:

  • A statement indicating where the voucher specimens are deposited is required in the theses or dissertation (e.g., voucher specimens are deposited in the LSAM );
  • A series of 10 specimens of each species is suggested, but a single pair, ♀and ♂, is adequate if the species is a common economic pest;
  • Specimens from different localities should be included if site to site variation is an important aspect of the research;
  • Specimens must be properly preserved and labeled (direct questions to LSAM personnel);
  • Label paper should be 100% rag, 36 lb. ledger (this paper and instructions for computer generated labels are available in the LSAM);
  • Each specimen requires three labels placed on the pin in the following order: data label, determination label, and voucher label (see below);
  • Maximum size of all labels is 10 x 20 mm;
  • If specimens are preserved in alcohol or on slides the same information must be placed with them.

Data labels should read as follows (if all the information will not fit on one label, use two):

Country: State: Parish or County   Ex. USA: LA: W. Feliciana Par.
Specific locality & Lat./Long.    Feliciana Preserve
Date ( Day-Month-Year)    30o47’N, 91o15’W
(month in roman numerals)    30-xii-2003 C.E. Carlton
Collectors name (both initials)   Mesophytic Forest/Berlese
Ecological Data &/or Collecting Method


Determination labels should read:

Genus species Author    Ex. Reaganis huangi Ottea
Det. “name of identifier & year”   Det. J.A. Ottea 2011


Voucher labels should read:

Student’s name & year of graduation   J. D. Smith 2004
LSU thesis or dissertation     LSU MS Thesis