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  • Sending Specimens for Research

    We are always looking for uncommon, unique, and otherwise interesting specimens from Indiana. If you have a specimen that fits this bill, you may be asked to save the specimen for further research, such as examining the DNA of the specimen. This is a quick guide to that process. 

    1. Take additional photographs of the specimen (in the field and at home) and upload the photographs to iNaturalist. These iNat reports help us keep track of all of the metadata (collection date, location, notes, etc.) associated with a specimen. Example iNat report: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/121154723

    2. Dry the specimen using a dehydrator (on the lowest temperature setting; below 105) or a fan. If your dehydrator does not have a temperature setting, it is still fine to use it. DO NOT USE AN OVEN TO DRY THE SPECIMEN. It will typically take 12-24 hours to dry the specimen. You want them to be near cracker dry. Large specimens can be cut in half. No need to send the entire mushroom for large specimens. A small portion is fine.

    3. Put the specimen in a Ziplock bag and write the iNat number from the URL on the outside of the bag. Ex - 121154723. You can also choose to download field data slips. These are sequentially numbered and can be used to help organize your specimens. If you use these, please be sure to write the iNat number on the slip and to make sure that number is visible from the outside of the bag. (This way the record can be validated without the need to open the bag.)

    4. Mail the specimen. It may be possible to mail the specimen using a standard envelope. It is fine to smash the specimen flat a bit for the mail, or to detach the cap from the stem to get it to lay flat. Otherwise, a small box will work fine. Specimens can be sent to:

    Stephen Russell
    3912 S. Carey St.
    Marion, IN 46953

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