Central Repository

A centralized repository for reference specimens of forensic importance would facilitate research and create a dedicated location for type and voucher specimens. Practicing forensic entomologists, experts in a relevant group, or avid collectors throughout the world could contribute/borrow specimens to/from the collection. For example, a forensic entomologist, confronted with a vexing taxonomic dilemma, would not have to canvass other scientists in order to locate the appropriate voucher(s). Instead, they would be able to simply contact the central repository and access the specimen(s).

The forensic entomology collection could be housed in an existing museum, or exist in its own right. Visiting students could peruse the collection, expanding their own knowledge base or contributing valuable information to the collection. Additionally, a database of insect holdings, such as those maintained by leading museums and universities, could be created and posted on the internet. Furthermore, relationships with prominent collections could be cultivated for an even larger network of resources.

The collection could also serve as a repository for genetic material. Ethanol-preserved specimens, frozen tissue, samples of extracted DNA, or FTA cards (Harvey 2005), could be archived in this manner. Similar collections exist for other insect groups. The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) created the Medfly Germplasm Repository (Otis, MA) for the curation of Mediterranean fruit fly genetic material. In Oberursel, Germany, the Institute für Bienenkunde houses a large collection of ethanol-preserved honeybees. Both of these repositories are valuable resources to researchers.

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