Destructive Sampling

OSAC discourages partial or complete destruction of its specimens but realizes that in many cases it is necessary for research purposes (e.g., dissections, DNA extraction), see below for details.  

**Any destructive sampling must be approved in writing and the appropriate terms agreed on beforehand.

**Type material is not available for destructive sampling except under exceptional circumstances, and only after written permission is obtained.  


Complete destruction Like retentions, the complete destruction of specimens (e.g., for chemical analysis), is only permissible when duplicate material (i.e., conspecific specimens of similar sex and life history with identical label data) exists in the collection.

Dissections/Disarticulations Dissections and disarticulations are often necessary.  

  • Individuals should demonstrate that they have experience with techniques of specimen dissection, based on material other than ours.  Every effort should be made to keep all anatomical parts in physical association with the specimen from which they were removed, for example, pointed or placed in genitalia vials on the same pin.
  • If slide mounting is necessary, each slide is to bear a label that includes the text:

                   “ex. OSAC##########” 

                    where “##...” is the 10 digit specimen number that will be present on a label attached to the specimen, for example: “ex OSAC 0011223344”

  • All parts of a specimen, including any slides, are to be returned to the OSAC with the specimens at the completion of the project.

DNA extraction 

  • Whenever possible, DNA is to be extracted in a non-destructive method (e.g., by passively and enzymatically digesting the DNA from the entire specimen, leaving the exoskeleton intact).  
  • In many groups this is less practical than removing or macerating a small piece of tissue or body part.  In these cases:
    • every effort must be made to minimize specimen destruction.
    • appendages selected for removal should be duplicated on the specimen being sampled (e.g., sample the left proleg only if the right proleg is present).

**DNA sequence data obtained from OSAC specimens that are published or uploaded to GenBank should include an explicit link/statement as to the OSAC specimen number in the format “OSAC 0000000000”. (See GenBank protocols for including voucher specimen data with sequence submissions.)

**The majority (75%) of any genomic extract must be returned to OSAC at the completion of the project or the loan period.  This applied to genomic extractions that could be successfully sequenced, as well as those that could not.  These samples should be labeled in such a way as to ensure they can be linked back to their source specimen.