Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes Loan and Destructive Sampling Policy


The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes (CNC) encourages use of its collections in as many ways as possible for the furtherance of scientific study, including sampling that may destroy part or all of a specimen. However, the CNC requires that all types of destructive sampling be requested in writing and approved prior to any destructive procedures. Unless otherwise stated, this request need only be made a single time for each researcher working on a given taxon, as long as the researcher demonstrates proper care and handling of CNC specimens, and is using techniques considered to be "standard" for that group. It is hoped that this will not delay or impede research greatly, especially in taxa for which destructive sampling is essential, but instead, will improve the standard of specimen preparation and use.


Destructive sampling is sampling of all or part of a specimen for scientific research that involves irreversible changes to the specimen up to and including its complete destruction. This includes any irreversible changes to a specimen such as (but not limited to) dissection of genitalia or other body parts, extraction of DNA by the grinding of body parts or dipping all or part of the body in solvent, sputter coating and/or affixing a specimen or body part to a stub for scanning electron microscope (SEM), sectioning for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), slide mounting of part or all of a specimen and cleaning/re-mounting of rare or primary type material.


This policy applies to all users who wish to sample one or more CNC specimens destructively. The CNC reserves the right to approve or deny any request for loans or destructive sampling of its specimens.


Anyone wishing to perform destructive sampling on CNC specimens must follow the steps below:

  1. Submit a loan request to the appropriate CNC curator or (for taxa not currently the responsibility of a CNC curator) to the CNC Collections Manager. Please check the loan policy form for guidelines.
  2. The Standard CNC Destructive Sampling Request Form should be completed and submitted to the relevant CNC curator or Collections Manager for "minor" or "routine" sampling procedures. Examples of such sampling procedures include, but are not restricted to, the following:
    • dissection of genitalia or other body parts
    • slide-mounting of body parts, soft-bodied immature stages or whole specimens of minute body size
    • cleaning or remounting of material other than primary types
    The standard request form will only have to be completed and approved once for each sampling technique and for each major taxon (that is, insect order), unless notice is given otherwise. Permission will remain applicable for the requested sampling procedure for all future loans of CNC material by the borrower, unless rescinded by the CNC.
  3. The Non-Standard CNC Destructive Sampling Request Form is required for other sampling procedures not covered in the above list that are considered more invasive or potentially damaging, and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. The Non-Standard form and instructions for its completion will be sent to a borrower if CNC staff determines that this is required. A request using this form applies only to the material and procedures specified on the form. Any other type of sampling or future sampling of other CNC material necessitates the submission of a separate form for each occasion. Examples of non-standard sampling include, but are not restricted to, the following:
    • any of the methods listed above when applied to primary type specimens, large proportions of secondary type specimens, or to rare, threatened or endangered species
    • extraction of DNA by grinding of body parts or dipping all or part of the body in solvent
    • coating of material for SEM and/or affixing a specimen to a SEM stub
    • fixation and/or sectioning of material for TEM
    • unspecified sampling not covered by the Standard CNC Destructive Sampling Request Form
  4. If you are in doubt regarding whether the Standard or Non-Standard form is required, please contact the loaning curator and/or the Collections Manager. Signing either of the Destructive Sampling Request Forms indicates agreement with the above terms. Any unauthorized sampling may result in the immediate recall of material and/or limited future access to CNC material.

Contact the Collections Manager for the appropriate form at