A Reference Collection shouldn’t be confused with a Regional Collection. Reference Collections are dedicated to a certain taxon or taxa, incorporating material which serves as the basis for studies into this taxonomic group, or acts as the basis of identification comparison. Let us look at a lizard reference collection, for example, containing various different examples (including correct basic sampling data) which then serves as a guide (reference) for other studies, such as identifying material discovered on an independent expedition, in which there could be identification doubts due to the use of nothing more than bibliographical references, for example. This collection could consist of a small amount of samples (a single individual, or up to three male-female pairs, for example) from each species.
The Reference Collection can be used for studying a specific group, of which there may be various other examples around the world within a specific region or biome, being used for comparison purposes within the group in question at a later date. Reference Collections may also consist of more restrictive groups such as Odonata, Apidae, Drosophila, Sarcopterygii, Anura, etc. It is recommended that the handling of samples follow a similar procedure to that used for Scientific Collections.