ABOL BioBlitz events are used to digitize taxonomic expertise in the context of the Days of Biodiversity – this is a way how rare, private biodiversity knowledge can be made available to society. This is the central message of an article recently published in the Barcode Bulletin (iBOL).
In times of rapid loss of biodiversity, we are faced with the challenge of generating reliable biodiversity data as fast as possible and making it accessible. A substantial part of the knowledge about biodiversity – e.g. about certain insect groups – are owned by private experts, often only by a few people. During the Days of Biodiversity, which take place annually in almost all federal states, valuable data is generated and genetically underpinned by means of DNA barcoding as part of the ABOL BioBlitz  efforts and made universally available via the international BOLD database.
Read more on this topic in our article ABOL BIOBLITZ: DNA BARCODING SAFEGUARDS TAXONOMIC KNOWLEDGE – The Austrian Barcode of Life (ABOL) initiative uses DNA barcoding to safeguard and make publicly accessible rare knowledge on biodiversity generated in the course of local BioBlitz events”

Dear ABOL and DNA barcoding community,

maybe there it is now – more time to read. To make sure to provide enough reading stuff, we would like to draw your attention to two very exciting publications on the topic of DNA barcoding:
In plants, a reliable species identification with only one genetic marker is not yet possible. Therefore, the sequencing of entire chloroplast genomes becomes increasingly popular. However, this is a very cost intensive way to document regional and national floras. At the ABOL conference, Harald Meimberg (BOKU) presented a solution by means of a multi-marker approach. An alternative method is described in the first publication presented here:
Inger Alsos et. al promote Genome Skimming as a method that, in addition to freshly collected plant material, also makes the valuable treasures in the herbaria for DNA barcoding and other genomic analyzes accessible. The success rates for herbarium material were very high for most plant families – the three DNA barcoding markers (ITS2, matK and rbcL) could be obtained in more than 1000 genera from 160 families. The authors recommend Genome Skimming of herbarium material as an efficient and relatively inexpensive method for creating DNA barcodes and genomic studies.

Citation: Alsos, I.G., Lavergne, S., Merkel, M.K.F., Boleda, M., Lammers, Y., Alberti, A., Pouchon, C., Denoeud, F., Pitelkova, I., Pușcaș, M., Roquet, C., Hurdu, B.-I., Thuiller, W., Zimmermann, N.E., Hollingsworth, P.M., Coissac, E. The Treasure Vault Can be Opened: The Treasure Vault Can be Opened: Large-Scale Genome Skimming Works Well Using Herbarium and Silica Gel Dried MaterialPlants 2020, 9, 432.

The second publication emphasizes the need for standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring in order to be able to recognize changes in the insect fauna in terms of abundance, species numbers and species composition. The authors around Axel Hausmann carried out comparative studies of the insect fauna in southern Germany in organic and conventional farmland using Malaise traps and light traps. Not only the species composition was recorded using DNA metabarcoding, but also the biomass and certain biological traits. Expectedly, for butterflies higher species numbers and biomass as well as higher numbers of red list species were detected in organic farmland compared with conventionally treated agricultural areas. The methodology presented here represents a time and cost efficient standardizable approach to insect monitoring.

Citation: Hausmann, A.Segerer, A.H.Greifenstein, T., Knubben, J., Moriniére, J., Bozicevic, V., Doczkal, D., Günter, A., Ulrich, W., Habel, J.C. Toward a standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring schemeEcol Evol202000112.

Recently, the description of a fungus species of Inocybe section Marginatae, Inocybe antoniniana, was published. Up to now, the species is known from Austria, Germany and Turkey. The preferred habitats of the mycorrhizal fungus are beech forests, partly mixed with other tree species. The new species has been described in detail with illustrations of micro- and macromorphology, as well as genetically using ITS sequences. The Austrian collection stems from Upper Austria, near Vöcklabruck. Thus we can register another species new for science and new for Austria within the framework of ABOL (HRSM project fungi, University of Vienna).


Bandini, D., Sesli, E., Oertel, B., & Krisai-Greilhuber, I. (2020). Inocybe antoniniana, a new species of Inocybe section Marginatae with nodulose spores. Sydowia, 72, 95–106. Cite

The DNA barcode library for Austrian amphibians and reptiles is now complete. All native species were analyzed, with the exception of Vipera ursinii rakosiensis and Lissotriton helveticus, which are probably extinct or extremely rare and spatially limited.

As part of the ABOL initiative, 194 DNA barcodes were created at the University of Graz, mainly from material in scientific collections, but also from fresh material. The species identification via the respective DNA barcodes was successful in most cases, except in the hybridogenic complex of water frogs (Pelophylax spp.) and the crested newts (Triturus spp.) from regions of sympatric occurrence. The presence of Natrix helvetica and Pelophylax bergeri has been recorded for the first time in Western Austria. The comparison with existing data of European reptiles and amphibians confirmed the results obtained, but also showed the strengths and limitations of DNA barcoding in amphibians and reptiles in some special cases.

DNA barcoding once again turned out to be an efficient approach for species identification at all stages of development, but also for the discovery of new, and also invasive species. On the one hand, these data act as an important scientific basis, on the other hand, as a basis for national and transnational conservation efforts.

We congratulate the team for the successful publication! Read it here.

Dear ABOL community

One advantage of DNA barcoding is the strong international networking of the initiative.

As part of the HRSM project, the team of Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber at the University of Vienna has created DNA barcodes of a fungus that was on the way of being described.

Who does not know them from the own garden, the Spanish slug? A study at the BOKU Vienna showed that Citizen Scientists can contribute to investigate the abundance of slugs of the genus Arion in private gardens. The quality of determinations could be kept high in the study by using the DNA barcoding approach. The publication is freely available at https://bmcecol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12898-018-0179-7.


In keeping with the theme of a workshop held in the context of this year’s ABOL conference, a review will be devoted to the topic “Genetic methods in biological assessment of aquatic habitats”. The paper provides information on the benefits and pitfalls of (e)DNA metabarcoding approaches for calculating biotic indices, provides insights into potential future developments, and provides recommendations for the future integration of DNA metabarcoding to routine biomonitoring programs. The publication can be found at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718316322.


Two publications on alpine moth species show benefits, firstly of integrative approaches, and secondly of international collaboration within the DNA barcoding community.

A comparison of representatives of the Agrotis fatidica species-group from the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Apennines and southern Norway led to the description of two new species. The publication can be found at https://nl.pensoft.net/article/23090/.

Among other things, a study on representatives of the genus Udea found evidence of hybridization between two species. The publication can be downloaded at https://zookeys.pensoft.net/article/22020/.

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.

Dear ABOL Community,

It was 2004 when Christian & Szeptycki revealed the Leopoldsberg to be the worldwide biodiversity hotspot of Protura, reporting 23 species from the soil of a very dry slope. Applying DNA barcoding to re-assess the diversity of these very small and blind soil dwellers at the genetic level reported 4 additional species from the same locality, one of which was new to science (Resch et al 2014).

This species named Acerentomon christiani is now formally described in a publication (Shrubovych et al. 2016) including the DNA-Barcode in its description.

Shrubovych, J., Bartel, D., Szucsich, N. U., Resch, M. C., & Pass, G. (2016). Morphological and Genetic Analysis of the Acerentomon doderoi Group (Protura: Acerentomidae) with Description of A . christiani sp. nov. PLOS ONE, 11(4), e0148033. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0148033
Resch, M. C., Shrubovych, J., Bartel, D., Szucsich, N. U., Timelthaler, G., Bu, Y., Walzl, M., & Pass, G. (2014). Where Taxonomy Based on Subtle Morphological Differences Is Perfectly Mirrored by Huge Genetic Distances: DNA Barcoding in Protura (Hexapoda). PLoS ONE, 9(3), e90653. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0090653

A selection of scientific and popular publications on the topic of DNA barcoding in general and ABOL in particular can be accessed via the link
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Dear barcoding-community,
we would like to point out three papers already published in 2015 concerning Barcoding of Austrian Lepidopterae:

Early in the year P. Huemer and P.D.N Hebert presented a Barcode library containing 1489 species of butterflies from Vorarlberg. 36 species were new to the province of Vorarlberg, while two species were newly recorded for Austria.


Huemer, P., & Hebert, P. D. N. (2015). DNA-Barcoding der Schmetterlinge (Lepidoptera) Vorarlbergs (Österreich) - Erkenntnisse und Rückschlüsse. inatura – Forschung online, 15, 1–36. http://www.inatura.at/forschung-online/ForschOn_2015_015_0001-0036.pdf Cite


A further study revised the taxonomy of the genus Kessleria. An integrative approach, combining morphology and DNA-Barcoding, supported the existence of 29 European species, five of these were newly described.


Huemer, P., & Mutanen, M. (2015). Alpha taxonomy of the genus Kessleria Nowicki, 1864, revisited in light of DNA-barcoding (Lepidoptera, Yponomeutidae). ZooKeys, 503, 89–133. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.503.9590 Cite


The third publication presented the new moth species Callisto basistrigella from the south-eastern Alps. The species can be morphologically and genetically differentiated from its sister species C. coffeella. Both species co-occur sympatrically without evidence of admixture.


Kirichenko, N., Huemer, P., Deutsch, H., Triberti, P., Rougerie, R., & Lopez-Vaamonde, C. (2015). Integrative taxonomy reveals a new species of Callisto (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae) in the Alps. ZooKeys, 473, 157–176. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.473.8543 Cite