The following statement may be downloaded, copied, and used in other
contexts, but only if kept unaltered and credited to the Lepidopterists'
The Lepidopterists' Society's
adopted by the Executive
Council: 13 June 1996, Houston, Texas
The Lepidopterists' Society affirms that collecting Lepidoptera
is one of many legitimate activities enabling professional and avocational
lepidopterists to further the scientifically sound and progressive study of
Lepidoptera and education about Lepidoptera as well as encouraging interaction
between professional and avocational lepidopterists.
The foregoing Statement of The Lepidopterists' Society is accompanied by the
following Collecting Guidelines. The Guidelines elucidate the manner in which
collecting should be conducted. Practitioners are encouraged to adopt these
Guidelines and to use the Guidelines for the instruction of others.
Our responsibility to assess and preserve natural resources, for the
increase of knowledge, and for the maintenance of biological diversity in
perpetuity, requires that lepidopterists examine the practices of collecting
Lepidoptera for the purpose of governing their own activities.
To this end, the following guidelines are outlined, based on these
- 0.1 Lepidoptera is one of the largest order of insects. Lepidopterans are
an important component of biological diversity.
- 0.2 Lepidoptera are conspicuous and scientifically well known, thus they
are frequently used as indicator groups for conservation programs.
- 0.3 The collection of Lepidoptera
- 0.31 is a means of introducing children and adults to awareness and study
of their natural environment;
- 0.32 has an essential role in the elucidation of scientific information,
both for its own sake and as a basis from which to develop rational means for
protecting the environment, its resources, human health, and the world food
- 0.33 is an educational activity which generally can be pursued in a manner
not detrimental to the resource involved.
PURPOSES OF COLLECTING (consistent with the
- 1.1 To create a reference collection for study and appreciation.
- 1.2 To document regional diversity, frequency, and variability of species,
and as voucher material for published records.
- 1.3 To document faunal representation in environments undergoing or
threatened with alteration by humans or natural forces.
- 1.4 To participate in development of regional checklists and institutional
- 1.5 To complement a planned research endeavor.
- 1.6 To aid in dissemination of educational information.
- 1.7 To augment understanding of taxonomic and ecologic relationships for
medical and economic purposes.
- 2.1 Collecting adults or immature stages should be limited to sampling, not
depleting, the population concerned. Numbers collected should be consistent
with the purposes outlined in sections 1.1 through 1.7.
- 2.2 Where the extent and/or the fragility of the population is unknown,
caution and restraint should be exercised.
- 3.1 All data should be recorded,and the data should be made available to
appropriate interested parties.
- 4.1 Rearing to elucidate life histories and to obtain series of immature
stages and adults is to be encouraged, provided that collection of the rearing
stock is in keeping with these guidelines.
- 4.2 Reared material in excess of need should be released only in the region
where it originated, and in suitable habitat.
- 5.1 Protection of the supporting habitat must be recognized as the sine qua
non of protection of a species.
- 5.2 Collecting should be performed in a manner such as to minimize
trampling or other damage to the habitat or to specific foodplants.
- 5.3 Property rights and sensibilities of others must be respected.
- 5.4 Collectors must comply with regulations relating to publicly controlled
areas, to individual species, and to habitats.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR COLLECTED MATERIAL:
- 6.1 All material should be preserved with all known data attached.
- 6.2 All material should be protected from physical damage and
deterioration, e.g. light, molds, and museum pests.
- 6.3 Collections should be made available for examination by qualified
- 6.4 Collections or specimens, and their associated written and photographic
records, should be willed or offered to the care of an appropriate scientific
institution, if the collector lacks space or loses interest, or in anticipation
- 6.5 Type specimens, especially holotype or allotype, should be deposited in
appropriate scientific institutions.
RELATED ACTIVITIES OF COLLECTORS:
- 7.1 Collecting should include permanently recorded field notes regarding
habitat, conditions, and other pertinent information.
- 7.2 Recording of observations of behavior and of biological interactions
should receive as high priority as collecting.
- 7.3 Photographic records, with full data, are to be encouraged.
- 7.4 Education of the public regarding collecting and conservation, as
reciprocally beneficial activities, should be undertaken whenever possible.
- 7.5 All known data should be recorded with the specimens, e.g. date,
location, collector, habitat, larval host plant data, and parentage of
immatures, when known.
TRAFFIC IN LEPIDOPTERAN SPECIMENS:
- 8.1 Collection of specimens for exchange or sale should be performed in
accordance with these guidelines.
- 8.2 Rearing of specimens for exchange or sale should be from stock obtained
in a manner consistent with these guidelines, and so documented.
- 8.3 Mass collecting of Lepidoptera for commercial purposes and collection
of specimens for creation of saleable artifacts are not included among the
purposes of the Society.
- 9.1 Collectors should comply with local, state or provincial, federal and
national, and international laws and regulations that govern collecting and
possession, commerce and exchange, import and export, and protection of
species. Collectors should comply with additional local, state or provincial,
federal and national, and international laws and regulations governing live
Dr. Vitor Becker
Dr. Lincoln P. Brower
Dr. Charles V. Covell, Jr.
Dr. Thomas Emmel
J. Donald Lafontaine
Eric H. Metzler, Chair
Dr. Kauri Mikkola
Dr. Scott Miller
Dr. Paul A. Opler
Fort Collins, Colorado
Dr. Kenelm W. Philip
Dr. Jerry A. Powell
Dr. Floyd and June Preston
Frederick W. Stehr
ex officio member
East Lansing Michigan
Dr. J. Benjamin Ziegler
Summit New Jersey