27 February 2012

Where your specimens go for posterity

The voucher specimens you submit to the Michigan Odonata Survey are housed in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology on the UM campus in Ann Arbor. The Insect Division houses over 4.5 million specimens of various insects from around the world, and has a rich and interesting history.

The Odonata collection is among the finest in the Western Hemisphere:
Odonata. (860 drawers; 4800 vials; numerous slides of genitalia and wings, ca. 3000+ species). The Odonata collection is second in size in the United States only to the Florida State Collection in Gainesville, but is broader in taxonomic and geographic scope than all others. The collection consists primarily of the combined collections made or obtained by E.B. Williamson, C.H. Kennedy, M. Wright, L.K. Gloyd, and the Michigan Odonata Survey, including the Förster collection which was purchased by the UMMZ. The collection is world-wide in scope, but with strong emphasis on the Americas. Approximately 40% of the collection is North American, 15% Central American, and 20% South American, particularly the northern and Andean regions. These collections, made largely by Williamson and Kennedy, consist of good series of specimens from many localities, largely identified or sorted into unnamed species. The 25% of the collection from the Old World is synoptic, containing at least one species from 80-90% of nominal genera. This material, primarily from the Förster collection or obtained by purchase or exchange, is also largely identified. The collection probably contains the largest number of determined specimens of any in the world, and is also rich in unstudied research material, particularly from Central and South America.

Your contribution will be catalogued, databased, and kept in the collection for researchers to examine for generations to come.