A fascinating recent publication deals with the potential of species delimitation in Lepidoptera via CO1. An international cooperation, with the participation of experts from the Tyrolean State Museums, could show that DNA barcoding is an efficient approach to determine the vast majority of European Lepidoptera.

Every determination is eased by reciprocal monophyly between species. In the absence of the latter experts are in demand to find possible explanations. The publication gives a nice overview on possible reasons for observed para- and polyphyly between species.


Mutanen, M. et al. (2016). Species-Level Para- and Polyphyly in DNA Barcode Gene Trees: Strong Operational Bias in European Lepidoptera. Systematic Biology, 65(6), 1024–1040.

As representatives of a DNA-Barcoding-Initiative in Austria we are often asked for the value of barcoding Austrian individuals in species where DNA-Barcodes from other countries are available. The best answer is given by two papers on moths, recently published by the team around Peter Huemer at the Tiroler Landesmuseum. Some species of leafroller-moths were always regarded to have a holarctic distribution. The enhanced international comparability due to DNA-barcoding allowed experts to reveal them to be species-complexes. With Ancylis christiandiana Huemer & Wiesmair, 2016 one species could be described as new to science, based on individuals from Austria. The same is true for a species of fairy longhorn moths which was found to be a complex of 3 species. Of these, Nemophora scopolii Kozlov, Mutanen, Lee & Huemer, 2016, was likewise described from Austria.


Gilligan, T., Huemer, P., & Wiesmair, B. (2016). Different continents, same species? Resolving the taxonomy of some Holarctic Ancylis Hübner (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Zootaxa, 4178(3), 347–370.

Kozlov, M. V., Mutanen, M., Lee, K. M., & Huemer, P. (2016). Cryptic diversity in the long-horn moth Nemophora degeerella (Lepidoptera: Adelidae) revealed by morphology, DNA barcodes and genome-wide ddRAD-seq data. Systematic Entomology

Dear supporters of ABOL!

Complementing our current projects on fungi and animals we are happy to announce the start of two associated projects on DNA-barcoding in plants.

A project at the University of Salzburg, headed by Andreas Tribsch, generates DNA barcodes in spring gentians, a morphologically challenging group. DNA barcodes will allow to identify juvenile plants and hybrids in mixed populations (read more…).
A second project aims to characterise plants via DNA barcoding, focussing on groups prone to undetected, cryptic invasions. The Uni-Docs-project will be carried out by Clemens Pachschwöll at the University of Vienna (read more …).