Loans from the Insect Collection

Northern Butterflies

UAM Insect Collection Loan Policy Statement

Loans of UAM Insect Collection specimens for research purposes are encouraged. Please read the loan policy below and contact the Curator with your request. The abbreviation (coden) for this collection is UAM. Please cite data or specimen use from this collection as follows (replacing dates as appropriate):

UAM. 2015. University of Alaska Insect Collection. {accessed on 23 Apr 2015}


Acknowledgement of receipt of specimens. Please sign and return (vial email or snail mail) the museum's copy of the invoice upon receipt of specimens; the second copy is for the borrower's files.

Duration of loans. Unless stated otherwise, loans are made for an initial period of 1 year from date of loan initiation (date of mailing). Most loans are renewable on request.

Student loans. Loans initiated by or for study by students, must be cosigned by the major professor and are the responsibility of the major professor.

Third parties. Loans may not be forwarded to another individual or institution without written approval.

Change of address or status. The borrower should notify the curator of any change in address or student status.

Dissection of genitalia. Genitalia or other structures may be dissected if the parts are stored in a generally accepted method for the taxon in question. In all cases the genitalia must be returned with the specimens, preferably physically associated with them (eg genitalia vials on the pin below pinned specimens). Type specimens may be dissected only with written permission of the curator.

Microscope slides. Slides prepared by the borrower must be clearly labeled so as to be easily associated with other parts of the specimen. If the specimens have barcode labels please use the barcode number to indicate “taken from UAM##” on the slides. Slides must be returned at the same time as other specimen parts, but packed to avoid slide breakage or damage to other specimens.

Packing. Specimens should be returned in the original boxes and packed and shipped to insure their safe return. Vials, microscope slides, and other heavy objects should be packed separately from pinned material. Genitalia vials and large specimens should be appropriately braced with insect pins. A minimum of two inches of packing should surround the specimen box. Appropriate packing methods are described in "Preparation of specimens submitted for identification to the Systematic Entomology Lab, USDA" by Lloyd Knutson, 1976, Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America, vol. 22, no. 2, p. 130. A simple explanation on how to safely mail pinned specimens was prepared by Gregory Dahlem and can be found at this link or with more details at this link

Return agreement. Specimens should be arranged so that species are clearly separated and recognizable. When practical, determination labels should be placed on each specimen, but all identifying institutional tags or computer codes not of lasting importance placed on specimens by borrower should be removed. Please do not ship specimens during December. The borrower agrees to cover all costs involved in safely returning specimens to UAM.

Retention of specimens. Please consult with the curator regarding primary types based on UAM specimens. Unique nontype specimens must be returned. A reasonable number (up to, but usually not more than, 20%) of duplicates (same sex and data) of specimens identified by the borrower (including paratypes) may be retained by prior arrangement with the curator (excepting any National Park Specimens). Consult with the curator regarding potential specimen exchanges and retention prior to returning loans. We encourage exchanges of material which increase the taxonomic representation of our collections.

Reprints. Copies (PDF preferablly) of all publications based on UAM Insect Collection specimens in whole or in part are requested. When PDFs are not available the curator should be notified of the citation of the publication. Acknowledgment of UAM in a publication resulting from the study of materials borrowed from the museum is requested.

Loan renewal. Please request a loan extension at the end of each loan period. Specimens must be returned promptly when a loan is terminated.

Visits. We encourage entomologists to visit the UAM Insect Collection, conduct research in the collections, and hand-carry specimens borrowed after preliminary sorting. UAM does not charge any fees for loans or use of the collection.

Data. Specimens borrowed bearing barcode labels have already been entered into the UAM database (PLEASE DO NOT lose, remove, or mix-up these barcode labels - They are intended to be permanent identifiers that forever tie the specimens to their online database records (these records are distributed globally among many large scale databases) and usable as citation numbers in publications to refer to the specimens in question unambiguously. Like an ISBN number for a book). If you borrow specimens without barcodes and enter their data into your own database please consult with the curator to see if your data can be transferred to the UAM database.

DNA Sampling. Extraction of RNA or DNA from UAM Insect Collection specimens is not permitted without the written approval of the curator. Such consumptive use will only be granted if the grantee agrees to provide a spreadsheet with UAM Insect Collection specimen barcodes (or their corresponding Arctos catalog numbers) associated with the resulting GenBank or BOLD (Barcode of Life Datasystems) identifiers (e.g. GenBank accession numbers) and PDFs of any resulting publications. Extractions will typically be allowed for 1-2 legs per specimen only. Whole-body extractions (without crushing), which allow the safe return of the specimen's articulated exoskeleton, will rarely be granted depending on the number of specimens available. DNA extraction that destroys the specimen entirely will not be granted. This policy applies to both the traditionally preserved collection and the frozen tissue collection. NOTE: when more than one specimen is on a pin or in a vial, a method that assures that the DNA data can be associated with the specimen from which it was derived must be employed.

National Park Specimens. If specimens from US National Parks are used for research leading to a publication the appropriate National Park(s) should be thanked in the acknowledgements. Note also that NPS specimens are not available for retentions because they are property of NPS.

Loan Requests should be sent to:

Derek Sikes
Curator of Insects
University of Alaska Museum
1962 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6960 U.S.A.