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BugGuide Photo-Vouchers

We have had several discussions on BugGuide (in the forums and on image comments) about the value of contributors providing specimens of photographed arthropods as "Photo-Vouchers" to experts willing to receive and identify said specimens.

A good discussion of Photo-Vouchering can be found here:

Our previous discussions about this topic have indicated that there is interest in the BugGuide community for pursuing Photo-Vouchers and has resulted in several experts accepting specimens for this purpose. This thread will hopefully serve as a summary of current Photo-Vouchering opportunities, provide a place for discussion of new directions and opportunities, and help to recruit additional specialists willing to accept photo-vouchers for BugGuide.

Preserving specimens for vouchering:
Most athropod specimens should be preserved in alcohol. Isopropyl is satisfactory and easily obtained. Some researchers may prefer ethanol. Some insects should not be preserved in alcohol (such as some Tabanidae and Orthoptera) as the liquid can destory important hairs or bleach the color from the specimen.
Please email the voucher contact for specific instructions on preserving and shipping.

Current BugGuide Photo-Vouchers

Non-insect arthropods
+ Joseph DeSisto - Centipedes
+ Kevin Pfeiffer - Spiders
+ Ken Schneider - Spiders, California focus
+ Blaine Mathison - Ticks
+ Ray Fisher - Velvet mites and relatives (Parasitengona)

+ George Waldren - Mutillidae, Scoliidae, Tiphiidae, Bradynobaenidae
+ Dave Smith - Sawflies (Symphyta), Aulacidae, Evaniidae, Gasteruptiidae, Trigonalidae, Stephanidae
+ Zhiwei Liu - Cynipidae (see Charley's comment below)
+ John Ascher (AMNH) - Bees and wasps (care of Eli Wyman; contact John for details)

+ John Carr - Diptera, mainly Tachinidae, Dolichopodidae, & midges
+ Richard Wilkerson - Culicidae
+ Christian Thompson - Syrphidae
+ Bill Murphy - Sciomyzidae
+ Allen Norrbom - Acalyptrates, esp. Tephritidae (see notes below about preservation)

+ Peter Messer - Carabidae
+ Tim Loh - Dytiscidae, Hydrophilidae, other aquatic beetles; northwestern Carabidae
+ Adam Brunke - Staphylinidae (Staphylininae & Tachyporinae)
+ Joshua Basham - Buprestidae
+ Blaine Mathison - Elateridae, Throscidae
+ Brad Barnd - Melolonthinae (Phyllophaga, Serica, Diplotaxis, etc.), Ptilodactyla sp., miscellaneous Coleoptera/Diptera/Hymenoptera
+ Guy Hanley - any Histeridae & Scarabaeidae, especially those found in dung & animal burrows; Glaresis
+ Andreas Herrmann - Dermestidae
+ Michael Thomas - Cerambycidae & misc. LBB (little brown beetles) from the Cucujoidea and Tenebrionoidea
+ Gareth Powell - Nitidulidae, especially Carpophilus

Other groups
+Mark Fox - Fleas and cockroaches

+California - CDFA - contact is Steve Gaimari

Additionally, there is the Insect and Mite Identification Service run by the USDA-ARS, which may provide additional opportunities to have some difficult taxa identified.

Some topics for discussion:

- Are there others who photo-voucher that I've missed? I know there are some informal arrangements within the BugGuide community, but I've only included the ones that explicitly have expressed interest on their profile page.

- For those experts willing to help, are you interested in receiving vouchers for the long-term or perhaps just a short-term project?

- What other taxa are the BugGuide community interested in adding?

- Guidelines for photo-vouchering? This seems obvious to me (properly mounting and preserving specimens, eventual deposition of specimens into a research collection, making photo-vouchers available to other entomologists for scientific research) but maybe there is more?

It is of course a difficult task to find experts willing to undertake this kind of project. Many professional taxonomists are busy with their own work and will be unable to commit time.

I will keep this thread updated, listing both ongoing projects as well as shorter duration projects that will hopefully come to fruition. Anyone who is interested in starting a photo-voucher project, please post to this thread or contact me directly and I'll add your name and interest to the list.

Thks Charley
I'll add the info.

Adam Brunke is willing to accept rove beetle vouchers, which will deposited in the University of Guelph collection. His interest area are the subfamilies Staphylininae and Tachyporinae from eastern North America (i.e. east of the rockies).

Velvet mites et al.
I am willing to receive terrestrial Parasitengona (velvet mites and relatives). Tom Murray and many other BG contributors have been sending me specimens regularly for a year now. In many cases, those specimens represent the only ones in the collection... highlighting the value of this type of collection. I also include the BG identifier in our database. Overall, photo-vouchering is a great idea.

Thanks Ray
I'll add you to the list.

I'd be willing
to accept photo-vouchers for Cerambycidae and miscellaneous "LBBs" (Little Brown Beetles) from the Cucujoidea and Tenebrionoidea for deposit in the Florida State Collection of Arthropods.

Thanks Mike
Added you to the list.

George "Jeff" Boettner
Bot Flies(oestridae)may be interested although I cannot speak
for him.

I am going to start photo-vouchering Ptilodactyla sp.

Males should be identifiable by examination of genitalia (females are probably impossible though), and there may be undescribed species, which increases the value of photo-vouchering this genus. And finding mating pairs would be exceptional.

In the past Joel Kits has accepted Sphaeroceridae and Matthias Buck has taken some other flies. It'd be good if they wanted to join in the photo vouchering, since we don't have a dipterist on the list yet.

Thks Tom
I'll shoot them an email.

those i'm aware of:
Symphyta: Dave Smith
Ichneumonidae: Bob Carlson
Staphylinidae: Adam Brunke (location restriction may apply, must ask Adam)
i know for sure that Tom Murray deposits his material with them.
we have to survey both photographers and experts to find out more -- i'm sure that there are more opportunities and existing arrangements

Thanks v
I'll add to the list.

I've confirmed Dave and Bob, but haven't heard back from Adam.

Though I have not formally an
Though I have not formally announced this, I would be interested in photovouchering the aquatic Coleoptera (esp. Dytiscidae & Hydrophilidae, may also be interested in Dryopidae and Elmidae) and northwestern Carabidae. I have photo-vouchered a couple of carabids sent to me by Lynette Schimming and currently working with Tom Murray to see what aquatic beetles he can send off to me.

Thats great
Thats great Tim. I'll add you to the list.

I have several hundred hydrophilids mostly ID'd only to genus, so I'll have to get your help with those sometime. :)

Josh Basham does voucher-ID for the bups.

I would be happy
curating and holding voucher specimens of histerids and scarabs out of dung and animal burrows....

as we are revising the genus, I would be willing to accept any specimens of the scarab genus Glaresis for ID and photo vouchering.


Spiders -
my expertise is limited, but I could take a look at some California spiders for folks - I'd better limit myself to California, where I at least have some familiarity with the species. I can always forward things to Kevin P. if I get out of my depth! :)

thanks Ken
sorry for the delay, will add your name to the list.

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