You don’t have to kill the orchids – good practices in orchid research


  • Rodrigo B. Singer Universidade Federal do RS (UFRGS)
  • Cristiano R. Buzatto Universidade de Passo Fundo
  • Rosana Farias-Singer Secretaria do Meio Ambiente e Infraestrutura do Rio Grande do Sul. Jardim Botânico de Porto Alegre
  • Nelson B. Machado-Neto Universidade do Oeste Paulista
  • Ceci C. Custodio Universidade do Oeste Paulista
  • Kit Prendergast Curtin University



conservação, Orchidaceae, polinização, sistemática, taxonomia


Orchids are globally threatened by habitat loss and poaching. In this context, we present suggestions to maximize the gathered scientific information without compromising the continuity of orchid populations: 1. To keep population coordinates in secrecy and avoid unnecessary or careless postings on social media; 2. To acquire and carry valid, working/collecting permits; 3. To make a complete photographic record of the orchid features before pressing the specimens; 4. Plant and insect (pollinators) vouchers are to be kept to the strictly necessary and must be deposited in accredited Herbaria and Entomological collections, respectively; 5. Orchid fruits for propagation purposes should be collected only when they are ripe enough, well-developed, and devoid of insects/illnesses. Recommendations to address all these methodological suggestions are presented. In particular, we advocate that it is completely unnecessary to kill (press) entire orchid specimens and provide instructions to properly voucher epiphytic and terrestrial orchids without pressing whole plants. The advantages of working in association with Living Orchid Collections held in Botanical Gardens or other Institutions are discussed. Only pollinarium-carrying insects are to be considered orchid pollinators and should be sampled in moderate numbers, for their identification by taxonomists. Appropriate techniques to record natural orchid pollination are also discussed.


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Como Citar

Singer, R. B., Buzatto, C. R., Farias-Singer, R., Machado-Neto, N. B., Custodio, C. C., & Prendergast, K. (2024). You don’t have to kill the orchids – good practices in orchid research. Iheringia, Série Botânica., 79.