Best Practice - Deciding What to Catalog

Embryos and parasites may be treated as parts of the host organism. Ideally, embryos should be treated as separate cataloged items because they may have, or they may acquire, attributes distinct from those of their mothers. Nevertheless it is often practical to consider them as parts of the mother until such time as they do acquire separate attributes. Similarly, parasites have been recorded as parts of their hosts until such time as they might be worked into a separate parasite collection.

What we choose to name as a part depends on what we define as a part, and while this is often obvious (e.g., “whole organism”), organisms become separated into parts in ways both standardized and not. Thus, it is difficult to standardize vocabulary for every fragment worthy of preservation.