[Taxacom] cautionary tale on molecular vouchers

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Fri Aug 18 11:38:51 CDT 2017

I encountered something of the reverse of that: the sequence matched the
identification, but the somewhat automated system had a very different
snail in the voucher photo.  Attempting to contact the organization didn't
get very helpful responses, but the error has been fixed since.

On Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 12:23 PM, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>

> I would expect that nowadays all molecular studies deposit voucher
> specimens that allow for subsequent verification. The importance of this
> procedure was recently highlighted for me in a molecular study of some
> moths where the results linked a species of one genus to species of a very
> different genus (the two genera are otherwise extremely distinct in every
> way). So naturally I investigated the voucher for that specimen which was
> said to have been deposited in a collection. It turns out that, so far,
> this appears not to have been the case with nothing in the pinned
> collection and frozen material for the study had since been thrown out. So,
> one is left with a insoluble situation (not even any photos of the
> specimens). Mistakes happen, and I am as guilty of that as anyone, so no
> criticism directed at the authors. Just a lesson in the importance of
> actually depositing the vouchers cited in publication.
> John Grehan
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Dr. David Campbell
Assistant Professor, Geology
Department of Natural Sciences
Box 7270
Gardner-Webb University
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