Specimen Packets

Once all of your specimens are dried and organized, it is time to prepare them for shipment to your fungarium. Spending some additional time organizing your specimens before shipment will significantly aid the curation staff at the fungarium, and help you to maintain a strong working relationship. We have prepared a method for you to print "specimen packets" at home. These are a standard method for storing specimens at many fungaria around the world.

This is an example of the front of the specimen packet. These print to a single page of paper, and can be folded to hold a specimen. Instructions for printing these packets can be found below.

Downloading your Specimen Packets

This is the web interface on MycoMap you can use to download your packets. You have the option of downloading individual labels, or uploading a spreadsheet of observations. 

Step 1: Choose to create a PDF for a single record or a list of records.

Single Record - Import - For generating a packet for a single record. Entering your MO or iNat ID will call that website to get the latest information. 
Multiple Records - Upload a CSV - Upload a CSV file that you downloaded from your Mushroom Observer species list or your iNaturalist project. This is only available for users that are logged in. 

Step 2: Enter the ID of your specimen or upload your CSV file.

ID - Enter your MO observation ID or your iNaturalist record ID. 
Upload - Upload a file of observation ID's in CSV format. These can be downloaded from your MO species list or iNaturalist project. The final file will appear in your notifications once it is available.

Additional Notes - If you have any special text to include, this will appear on the bottom of the label. Ex - "HMS Fall Foray2018"

If you are using iNaturalist, the following custom observational fields can automatically pull into your labels:

Voucher Number(s) 
Collector's name

Printing your Specimen Packets

Standard computer paper should work well for most fungaria. Check with your specific institution to see if there is a particular type of paper they would like you to print on. They may ask you to ensure you are utilizing "acid-free" paper.

If you have a large number of records to print, you could choose to send your PDF file to a local copy shop to have printed. It would likely be the most economical choice, and it will be ready in a few minutes. A local copy shop in West Lafayette, IN charges $0.05 per copy, so 100 single-page packets costs $5.00.

The resulting specimen packets will print in PDF format, a single page per record. The page will include the label with the specimen metadata, as well as guide lines for folding your packets. 

Folding your Specimen Packets

Specimen Packet Folding Demo

Stephen Russell gives a brief video demo of how to fold your specimen packets. These packets are used when preparing your shipment of samples to your partner herbarium.

As oulined in this video, we typically wrap our specimens in KimWipes before finalizing the packet folds. The packets should be used in combination with a Kimwipe, ziplock, or similar. The specimens should not be loose in the packet.

If all goes well, you should not need to tape or staple your packets to keep them closed.
Folding your specimen packets is a quick and easy process once you have done it a few times. A diagram of the folding pattern can be found below:

It is best practice to fold your packets without the specimen included. Once they have been folded and the lines have been "scored" once, it will be much easier to have your packet attain/maintain the desired end size and shape.

Large Specimens

Sometimes an individual specimen will be too large to fit in the folded specimen packet. You have a couple of options here. 

1. Cut out the label section of the packet page, and send that in with the large specimen. The fungarium will likely box the specimen and they can tape the label to the front of that box. 


2. Reduce the size of the specimen to fit in the packet. If it is a large polypore, you could break off a portion of the specimen to save. This will save the fungarium on space and the cost of a box. If you are working with a large agaric, you could carefully remove the cap from the stem and lay it flat in the specimen packet, and/or only send half of the specimen to the institution.

About North American Mycoflora Project

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