DNA barcoding for amateur naturalists

DNA barcodes are short pieces of DNA that clearly differ between animal species, but are more uniform within a species. That is why they are suitable for a genetic identification of a species.

This may be useful to confirm the identity of species that are difficult to recognize on the outside, or of larvae or nymphs of species that are not recognizable in the juvenile stages. Furthermore, DNA barcoding could be a useful part in the taxonomic revision of ‘difficult’ groups and by the description of new species.


In entomological and other zoological research, therefore, DNA barcoding is used more and more. However, the technique is not yet easily available for amateur naturalists who do not have access to a molecular lab and/or the finances to hire a commercial DNA barcoding service.


To help amateur naturalists to make more use of the benefits of DNA barcoding, we offer a DNA barcoding service in the Foundation’s own labs. Please note the following:


  • Only small-scale projects (max. 10 sequences per project).
  • The results are returned with general information on how to interpret them, but Taxon Foundation is not responsible for further analysis etc., unless special agreements are made about this.
  • In principle, only fresh-collected material is suitable for DNA barcoding (live, frozen, or kept in pure ethanol.
  • Per DNA barcode we will charge €30 (these are the true costs for chemicals and machines). This is a sequence that has been read in only one direction; for sequences read in both directions, we charge 10 euros extra.
  • Samples that do not yield a readable DNA barcode, do not need to be paid.
  • For the moment, this service is only available for animal (not plant or fungi) samples.
  • If needed, DNA barcodes of Dutch species can also be communicated by us to the data administration of the ARISE project, which collects DNA data on all flora and fauna of the Netherlands.


Should you be interested, please send a message to info@taxonfoundation.com and use the subject “DNA barcoding”.