Any undeniable reasons for collection of dead specimens?

Well if you don’t want to do it, then you definitely don’t have to, as an amateur. There is literally nobody that has any authority over what you are doing as a hobby. Yes, it may lead to the scientists not accepting the species, but frankly, that’s their fault, not yours. The situation starts to be different when it’s your job and you are paid for it, then, sadly, you will have to follow the consensus of the community and if they do not accept species without a type specimen, then it would be hard to have much success in the field while resisting this practice. But you can definitely put our papers arguing that the practice should change, if you can provide reliable evidence that it would work.

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Thank you very much everyone for your input.
My decision for now is to not collect any specimens, because I’m not a professional (yet) and even if I have to start doing it one day, I’d rather have my first experience under more relaxed circumstances, where I wouldn’t have to carry dead animals with alcohol without a proper permit through the borders of countries that tend to have strict and arbitrary rules. For now all I can do is to provide professional researchers with my photos and locations - whether they do anything about it or not is their choice.
On the other hand, now I have a much better understanding of why collecting specimens is necessary, especially when it comes to describing new species. I still believe it can and should be avoided at least in some cases, but we can’t avoid it altogether. In Iraq (and many other countries) people kill geckos all the time just because they dislike them, so taking specimens for scientific reasons shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s hard when you feel emotional about your research objects.

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It’s good to have as many different kinds of records as possible because physical specimens have a good but not perfect track record The oldest herbarium specimens (plants) are from the 1500’s and many from the 1700’s still exist. For course, they can also be lost or degraded. Many types were lost when the Berlin herbarium was bombed during World War II and others are lost to fire or neglect. When it comes to type specimens, it’s good to several or many isotypes (duplicates of the holotype, collected at the same time and place) distributed to different museum so some may survive. These can be used to select a lectotype, a specimen chosen later as the type, if there is no holotype or it has been lost.

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I’m not a herpetologist, so take my advice with that in mind. I would ask is whether or not this a new species, or an extension of range? And is it rare? For me, a rare species should not be collected without very good reason. As others have discussed above, a physical specimen is sometimes necessary, but I have seen huge range extensions of NA Noctuid moths based on photos. I appreciate the conflict this has caused for you, and the possible legal dangers. All in all, I would agree with your decision! Good luck in your studies (we all need some luck).

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One more argument.
One good magnetic storm will wipe out ALL digital data, everywhere. But not physical specimens.

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@mamestraconfigurata
The genus in question is Asaccus. According to some recent data, there might be as many as 20 cryptic species within its range in the Middle East. I observed two distinct species, both out of their known range. One of them I found in an urban area, basically in abandoned houses very close to the city center. According to an Iraqi herpetologist I talked to, nobody had ever reported Asaccus geckos from that city (which means that, most likely, nobody ever searched in such an obvious location!), but they had been seen some 50 km away, which allows for an assumption that it is the known species (Asaccus elisae).
The 2nd case was more interesting, because I found a huge population of what seems to be Asaccus griseonotus in a cave at least 250 km away from their known range. Again, it wasn’t a very remote place - it is a ruin of an ancient city with many caves that used to serve as houses in old times. If you are into geckos you know it’s the kind of place where you’re likely to find them :) Which, once more, means that nobody ever searched for them in that location.
Therefore, it’s impossible to answer whether they are rare and whether they could be a new species or “just” an extension of range. In the first case I’m quite positive it’s the well-known species, the second case is more tricky. This area really needs a more thorough research, but with the political and economical situation being extremely unstable there aren’t a lot of resources for science.
Thank you very much! We definitely all need luck. I hope to start an MA degree in biology next year, but first I have to pass an exam covering all major fields of biology, while I only have some deep knowledge of herpetology, so I better get myself prepared :)

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I think if population is big, and those are ruins that don’t attract too much attention, somebody else interested can visit it too even if it won’t be soon, you shouldn’t overstep your principles for that, plus it can affect you mentally, so just try to do as much as you can in terms of photography and maybe look after their behaviour and write it down.

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Thank you for that information. I’m a moth person, and there are lots of data available to make good identifications of most moths. I don’t know how possible it is to make a gecko identification from a photo!
I agree with @melodi_96 - your principles, conscience, are very important, so if it does not sit well with you, don’t do it.
Btw, if you need any help with aspects of biology I’m willing to help out as much as I am able. Much of my information is from the 1980’s (updated for Noctuidae), but feel free to contact me. And good luck.

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Thank you very much for your offer of help, I really appreciate it and will definitely contact you if I need help studying different aspects of biology.
To answer your question, I’m not sure it’s the same for moths, but when it comes to reptiles, the availability of DNA analyses changed everything. As it turns out, there are many cryptic species which cannot be distinguished based on morphological traits. There are also species that have some slight morphological differences that would generally not be visible in the pictures unless the observer knows what exactly he/she should look for. For example, in order to correctly identify the geckos living in my area you need to have a picture of the underside of their tail, which should be keeled, unlike in several different, closely related species. Another question is whether the modern definition of “species” isn’t too broad. Again, I don’t know whether it’s the same in entomology, but in modern herpetology it’s enough that two populations of geckos have been evolving separately for several millions years (for example, because their populations are separated by a mountain chain), even if they can still hybridize and have fertile offspring once put together and allowed to mate. But that’s already completely off-topic :)

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Thank you for that. It sounds like specimen collection may be needed at some point (not by you if you do not want to). And again, good luck!!

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The onus is on the researcher to have all the correct permits to legally import the specimen into a different country if they require it. The Nagoya Protocol came into effect on Oct. 29, 2014 and is about making sure that access to genetic resources (i.e. specimens) is done fairly, legally and it is beneficial to all parties (https://www.cbd.int/abs/).

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