Voucher Policy at the C. A. Triplehorn Insect Collection


Why voucher?

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. 

Voucher designation and deposition is a responsibility associated with most studies in organismal biology. 

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 Ohio State and the deposition of relevant personal collections. 

Vouchering requires careful planning and preparation. A good research project will allocate time and funds for the preparation, storage, and documentation of voucher specimens. Researchers developing a new study project are strongly encouraged to contact the Curator of the Collection as soon as practically possible to receive specific information on voucher preparation and deposition. 

A-B-C to Voucher Deposition

Voucher specimens should be in good condition, properly mounted, labeled, and stored in tightly-sealed boxes or insect drawers. Collecting information and other data associated with voucher specimens should be fully documented as the project progresses. Applicable collecting documentation (include collecting permits, export and import permits) is required for the deposition of vouchers.

Voucher Preparation

Insect vouchers specimens should be properly 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 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 containing 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. Single label size should not exceed 19 mm x 6 mm (see labeling instructions in *Triplehorn & Johnson, 2005, pg. 762-764).

In addition to collecting and determination labels, we recommend that each voucher specimen is assigned 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 Insect Collection uses a small plastic barcode label with a pre-printed unique specimen identification. Upon request, barcode labels will be made available to scientists depositing their specimens in the Collection. We will also provide guidance on specimen databasing. 

Voucher specimens should be safely stored in tightly-sealed Schmitt boxes or insect drawers in cabinets, away from light, humidity, and potential pests. Damaged specimens will not be accepted for deposition.

*Triplehorn, C.A. & Johnson, N.F. 2005. Borror and Delong's Introduction to the Study of Insects. 7th Edition. Brooks/Cole. 880 pp.

Voucher Deposition

The final and most critical part of the vouchering process is the actual deposition, the physical transfer of study specimens from the scientists to a recognized and publicly accessible research Collection. 

At the Triplehorn Insect Collection non-type 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 accessing the specimens in the future.  Label data for all voucher specimens are recorded into our specimen database and made freely available online.

The voucher repository should be clearly identified on all traditional and electronic publications citing or resulting from the study of the vouchers, including databases and web pages. Citation should include the full name (C. A. Triplehorn Insect Collection), academic affiliation (The Ohio State University), and the traditional 4-letter coden (OSUC) of the repository. 

The following information is required by the Collection for all voucher depositions:

  • Voucher deposition form
  • Copy of Collecting Permits (if applicable)
  • Copy of Export/Import Permits (if applicable)
  • Copy of publications citing the vouchers (if available)

Please download and complete our Voucher Deposition Form prior to specimen deposition.



Please download our voucher deposition guide.



For more information about voucher deposition at the Triplehorn Insect Collection, please contact the Curator.

Some Studies with Vouchers Deposited at the Triplehorn Insect Collection


  • Perry, KI, Riley, CB, Fan, F, Radl, J, Herms, DA & Gardiner, MM.  2022. The value of hybrid and non-native ash for the conservation of ash specialists is limited following late stages of emerald ash borer invasion. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 24(3): 355-370.
  • Turo, K J & Gardiner, MM.  2021. Effects of urban greenspace configuration and native vegetation on bee and wasp reproduction. Conservation Biology 35:1755-1765.
  • Cardenas CR, Luo AR, Jones TH, Schultz TR, Adams RMM. 2021. Using an integrative taxonomic approach to delimit a sibling species, Mycetomoellerius mikromelanos sp. nov. (Formicidae: Attini: Attina). PeerJ 2021 Jun 24;9:e11622. 
  • Chordas III, Stephen W & McAllister, CT.  2019. Seven Novel Hemiptera (Miridae; Pentatomidae; Reduviidae; Rhyparochromidae) Records from Southeastern Oklahoma. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 99: 84-88.
  • Bicha, W and Schiff, N.  2019. A New Species of Scorpionfly from the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky (Mecoptera: Panorpidae). Entomological News 128(4): 356-364.
  • Lumen, R, Kamiński, MJ, Crowley, J & Smith, AD. 2019. Revision of the Genus Ulus Horn, 1870 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Opatrini: Blapstinina). In Annales Zoologici 69(4): 827-856. Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences.
  • Kautz, AR, & Gardiner, MM. 2019. Agricultural intensification may create an attractive sink for Dolichopodidae, a ubiquitous but understudied predatory fly family. Journal of Insect Conservation 23(3): 453-465.
  • Dean, DH & Flechsig, B.  2019. A New Record Mayfly Ephemerella subvaria McDunnough (Ephemeroptera, Ephemerellidae) from Ohio, USA. Ohio Journal of Science 119(2): 75-78.
  • Sivakoff, FS, Prajzner, SP, Gardiner, MM. 2018. Unique Bee Communities within Vacant Lots and Urban Farms Result from Variation in Surrounding Urbanization Intensity. Sustainability 10(6): 1926.



For more information about voucher deposition at the Triplehorn Insect Collection, please contact the Curator.