every entomologist needs a plant press

Andrew Whittington aew at NMS.AC.UK
Mon Apr 1 10:09:28 CST 1996

On Fri 29 Mar, John Nelson said:

"GASP! That's the whole point! What if you mididentify your plant, or
have a faulty concept of what it really is? If there's a specimen of
it, maybe somebody down the road can correct your mistake.

Since we are still talking about the interface between field
collection of insects and plants, here's something to consider. Every
now and then we botanists are able to add notes on insect
pollinators, aphids, nectar robbers, etc that we may observe in the
field. I've always enjoyed adding stuff like "flowers visited by
small grey butterflies..." hoping that this info will someday,
somehow be of use to somebody studying the specimen. On the
other hand, I'll admit that most entomologists probably know more
botany than botanists know bugs."

I hope this is a two-way game.  "Small grey butterflies" is about as bad
as "little yellow Daisy".  Do Botanists routinely collect entomological
vouchers?  I know several entomologists who collect Botanical vouchers
when uncertain of their identification.  I whole-heartedly agree -
vouchers are required of future verification of identifications.  But is
everybody playing the same game?

Andy Whittington
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
DDI: 0131 247 4261
FAX:  0131 220 4819
aew at nms.ac.uk

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