Biodiversity loss currently receives much attention in media. One trigger for this is the recently published WWF Living Planet Report 2018, which shows a persistent massive population decline in vertebrates. The Living Planet Index (LPI) has been compiled every two years since 1998, and makes statements about the evolution of thousands of vertebrate species. The dramatic result shows a decline in natural populations with a decrease of individual numbers of 60% on average since 1970.

For the first time the LPI was compiled for Austria, in a cooperation of WWF and BOKU. The study examined the period between 1986 and 2015. The result is worrying: the mentioned 70% decline in vertebrates even exceeds the global value.

In invertebrates, an equally dramatic decline was reported by Hallmann et. al 2017. According tot he study the insect biomass faced a decline of more than 75% in the last 27 years in Germany.

Lecturers of the nternational Symposium on Insect Conservation at the Natural History Museum Stuttgart suggested a nine-point-action against insect decline, where they suggest solutions to political stakeholders.

A key point is the demand for a research and education offensive to close the huge gaps in our knowledge on biodiversity. Only then can the dramatic loss of insect biomass be underpinned with information on species. Biodiversity initiatives such as ABOL can significantly contribute to this task.

We are pleased to announce that under the lead of the University of Graz (Dr. Stephan Koblmüller) in cooperation with the Universalmuseum Joanneum (Mag. Wolfgang Paill) and the Ökoteam as economic partner (Dr. Werner Holzinger) another ABOL project has started. In the BRIDGE-1 project BIO-PLANBAR (FFG, BMVIT) the use of DNA barcoding for more efficient species identification in the context of conservation conformity of planning processes of major construction projects will be investigated.

In order to estimate the impact of construction projects on local fauna and flora, a very good knowledge of the organisms is required. As a rule, certain indicator groups are used for this purpose. DNA barcoding might simplify and accelerate the step of species identification and complement classical morphological methods, especially in juveniles, larval stages and eggs. However, the prerequisite for this is as comprehensive high quality reference database. This will be generated and/or completed within the project for relevant groups of animals (for example, bugs, cicadas, spiders, ground beetles).

More information can be found here.

Congratulations to the successful project applicants!

The ABOL coordination team

For all of you who are familiar with social media, we recently initiated a facebook page for ABOL!

We cordially invite you to contribute and comment frequently. We aim at announcing news about ABOL, along with other postings of general relevance for biodiversity.

Enjoy our page!

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 ABOL community,

this year again our ABOL meeting took place at the Schlossmuseum Linz – we would like to thank the people from the Upper Austrian State Museums for hosting! We are very happy, that so many of you joined the meeting. A special thank to all the speakers for the interesting talks concerning this year’s main topic “Applied aspects of DNA barcoding”. The talks provided a comprehensive overview of the power of DNA barcoding and stimulated lively discussions.
We hope, that the meeting was interesting and successful for all participants and provided sufficient space for conversations and networking.
Please find some impressions in our picture gallery (photo credits by F. Gusenleitner, H. Sattmann, M. Sonnleitner)

Best wishes,
your ABOL team

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 …).

Dear biodiversity community,

Wild bees enjoy increasing awareness in general public, due to several campaigns in the recent past. Austria is known as a biodiversity hotspot of wild bees and many species are especially worthy of protection because of their narrow food spectrum and/or restricted distribution area.

Therefore we are pleased to announce two new associated projects dealing with DNA barcoding of wild bees, which started in the past few weeks.

Read more:
DNA barcoding of selected wild bees
DNA barcoding of wild bees of Vienna

Your ABOL team

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.
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.

Liebe ABOL-Gemeinschaft!

Wir freuen uns, dass Sie bei der diesjährigen ABOL-Tagung wieder so zahlreich teilgenommen haben. Ein großes Dankeschön an alle Vortragenden, die von vielfältigen Seiten den diesjährigen Schwerpunkt  „Sammlungen und Sammeln“ vor allem im Hinblick auf DNA-Barcoding und der damit verbundenen Qualitätssicherung beleuchtet haben.

Wir hoffen, dass die Tagung gut und ausgiebig für Meinungsaustausch und Netzwerken genützt werden konnte. Um die fachliche Kommunikation innerhalb der Cluster zu erleichtern, werden auf Anregung interne Forum-Bereiche auf der Website eröffnet (mehr dazu in Kürze).

Eindrücke und Erinnerungen an das ABOL- Meeting in Linz finden Sie wieder in unserer Bildergalerie. Sollte Bedarf bestehen, ein Foto in höherer Auflösung zu bekommen, bitte einfach uns zu kontaktieren.

We are glad to present the final agenda for this years´ ABOL meeting!
Many thanks to all participants which agreed to give a talk at the meeting.
We look forward to a well attended and inspiring meeting as well as numerous poster presentations. Please register as soon as possible per e-mail to
Link to programm: tagung-2015-programm.pdf

Subsequent to the ABOL-Meeting the Schlossmuseum Linz houses the 82. Meeting of Entomologists.