Submitted to: Molecular Ecology Resources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Janzen, D.H., Hallwachs, W., Burns, J., Solis, M.A., Woodley, N.E. 2009. Integration of DNA barcoding into an ongoing inventory of complex tropical biodiversity. Molecular Ecology Resources. 9(Suppl):1-26.
Interpretive Summary: Specific, short DNA molecular sequences to "barcode" species has been advocated for detecting differences between extremely similar complexes of species that would be difficult or impossible to identify using morphology. Such species complexes include agricultural pests as well as beneficial insects useful in biological control. This paper outlines the extensive use of DNA sequences to characterize species in a complex tropical ecosystem in Costa Rica. This information will be of general theoretical interest to scientists interested in classification and species concepts, and to applied scientists who would use this technology to solve quarantine and control agricultural issues.
Technical Abstract: The extensive use of DNA barcoding technology in a large inventory of Macrolepidoptera and their parasitoids is documented. The methodology used and its practical applications are summarized, and numerous examples of how DNA barcoding has untangled complexes of cryptic species of butterflies, moths, and their associated parasitoids are presented. DNA barcoding has revelaed greater species richness than was indicated by initial morphological sorting of taxa.