Anyone have some bugs they want to DNA barcode?

If so, you can send me the bug (or a leg) and $10 per specimen (to cover expenses) and I’ll barcode it for you. Just send me a private message if you’re interested.


COI or something else?

1 Like

Yes, COI. I can also do ITS for mushrooms, but I’m more interested in doing bugs (e.g. insects and arachnids).

1 Like

that’s sick, i didn’t even know that was a thing. maybe someday i can learn how to barcode things as well

Yes please! I will have a Pardosa tomorrow morning. (Crossing my fingers now.) It definitely will need barcoding if possible, please.

Message sent! Thanks.

Out of curiosity, how fresh does the specimen need to be for barcoding?

This would be really cool for undescribed species of insect gall. So can you just throw the whole thing in there and find just the animal sequence among the plant matter? Send multiple galls (of the same species) to make up for really tiny insects?

Feel free to dm me. I like discovering underapprecited taxa and places. Good chance of getting some new species, perhaps.

Who are you asking to dm you and about what? I’m confused. Zygy is asking people to dm them if interested in this service. What would zygy dm you about? Or did you mean someone else?

Any luck finding spiders?

That’s a good question and it depends on a variety of factors. The two things that cause DNA to degrade the most are heat and water (since both are needed by the enzymes that break down DNA). If either or both of those things are eliminated, the DNA can last a long time. You can use ethanol or antifreeze to remove the water from a specimen and you can store them in a freezer to eliminate heat. If neither of those things are done, most of the DNA will be degraded within a week. There are lots of ways to sequence degraded DNA, but they get more and more expensive and time consuming the more the DNA is degraded. For this particular $10 offer, I would only accept fresh or well preserved specimens.

1 Like

Good questions. Yes, I could probably isolate the animal DNA from the plant matter. Regarding the size, how tiny are the gall bugs? If they’re at least a couple millimeters that’s big enough.

1 Like

The Polystepha midges are around around 1-2 mm. These spring Polystepha galls and fall Polystepha galls are pretty easy to dissect. I know how to tell the midge larvae apart from parasitoid larvae so I can avoid mixing parasitoids with gallformers. However this fall Polystepha species has very tough galls: . I haven’t managed to cut one open without squishing the contents (larva or pupa). I might have to hatch these out to separate gallformer from parasitoid.

These Taxodiomyia midge galls would be hard raise because I have no idea when they will be egg, larva, pupa, adult: . I’m not familiar with them (or other Taxodiomyia sp) having any parasitoids though. I haven’t tried to dissect one of these yet. I haven’t found any since I got my dissecting microscope. I have no idea how big the gallformers are.

I am interested in this service, so long as I get to pick one ;) Something Lucilia most likely.

If they dont want it back, there must surely be a research collection somewhere that might want them.

I’m pretty sure they have to destroy it to get the DNA sample. So there is no getting it back.


Is this in association with a lab, I have always wanted to create a home genetics lab, for barcoding the many isopod specimens that I have; however, I could never find the right primers or get the process down to $10 per barcode. This is an amazing thing that you are offering and I would love to know more, thank you!

1 Like

Since posting this, I’ve been inundated with requests, so I’m afraid that I’m going to have to withdraw the offer for now. Sorry!

1 Like

It’s a home lab. I’ll tell you more about it in a DM.