Specimen Labels

Matt Smith MatSmith1 at compuserve.com
Sun Sep 12 15:30:56 EDT 1999

On 12 Sep 1999 17:34:37 GMT, alan5319 at aol.com (Alan and Jeri Coates)

>We would be interested to hear your thoughts on what information should be
>displayed on labels pinned with specimens in a collection. We are about to
>attack our collection (of moths) and are wondering which labeling technique to
>Currently our labels contain : Abreviated latin name, common name (if there is
>one), location where captured, county, date of capture and name of captor.
>Even when printed in 4 point type this does create a large label particularly
>when attached to a 'micro' moth. When viewing a series this can be distracting;
>the label is often larger than the specimen.
>Are you a minimalist or do you believe that all possible information should be
>shown?  What are the chances of a 'universal label' being adopted?
>We have a Victorian collection of micros. No specimen has a data label. They
>are listed under general labels of genus and species. It is nice to view but
>not much good for research purposes.
>We would like to hear your experiences and thoughts.
>Alan & Jeri Coates
I've always been told that the collection label should have the
following data:

Country, location in increasing order of accuracy, grid reference/lat
& longditude, collection date, collector.  eg

England, Berks, Winnersh,
Dinton Pastures  SU780719
21/vi/99          M N Smith

In 4pt this is not too big a label.

A second determination label goes on the pin under the first with
species name and determiner.  Determination date is also useful in
some instances.  Other information (at light, reared etc) can be added
if you have space, either to the collection label or on a third label.

Writing stuff on the backs of labels saves space but means things get
missed unless you take the specimen out of the box.  Most things I
collect dont have common names, if I want to use these the common name
it goes on a separate label in the store box.  Always put a
determination label on a specimen, otherwise it is guarenteed one day
that you will put those two specimens you have been comparing back in
the wrong place.  This will provide you with hours of confusion next
time you get stuck with the couplet in the key.



More information about the Leps-l mailing list