Voucher specimens

Mark Walker mwalker at aisvt.bfg.com
Thu Sep 11 17:53:53 EDT 1997

Patrick Roper made some interesting and valid comments regarding the problems
with voucher specimens and erroneous labels.  But these problems are what we in
engineering refer to as _noise_.  The fact that these labels have caused so
much heartache is an indication of how important the use of voucher specimens
are in the first place.  People are (and have been) looking at them.

The fact that they occasionally cause frustration is not surprising, given
man's propensity for error.  Validating such records gives the lepidopterist
some pretty satisfying work.  Every now and then the absence of a species from
a location where it was previously recorded (by voucher) reveals a genuine
extirpation.  How can anyone take exception to this?

But why do we have to limit this discussion to voucher specimens?  Why should
it be unacceptable for me to collect unthreatened wild Leps purely for the
pleasure of it?  Before you answer, recall that many in this thread have
insisted that this is not an animal rights argument.

Mark Walker

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