Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • How much sample material is needed for the analysis

  • How do I prepare the samples

  • How do I ship the samples

  • When will I receive my results

  • Can all specimens be barcoded and identified up to the species level

  • What types of results are generated​

How much sample material is needed for the analysis

Usually, part of an individual is sufficient for analysis (e.g., the leg or egg of a moth).

The size and volume of mixed samples can be very variable and can vary from minute amounts to large quantities (e.g., liter bottles for malaise trap yields). Larger quantities usually require larger amounts of reagents. We are happy to advise you individually and to create an offer adapted to the sample amount and the sample volume.

How do I prepare the samples

Every sample is unique! In order to make sure that the samples are not degenerated or made unusable, we will gladly advise you individually on each type of sample.

Entrapment liquids can affect the DNA. Therefore, please always discuss with us in individual cases, which entrapment liquids should be used.

Insect traps, single organisms, stomach samples:
> store in high-percentage alcohol (at least 80%), preferably cool and dark.

Mulm, mulch, feces, fungi, wood, soil:
> dry completely

How do I ship the samples

The samples should be shipped in well sealed containers.

Shipping can be done at room temperature.

Please send the samples to our laboratory address:

Advanced Identification Methods – AIM GmbH

Niemeyerstr. 1

04179 Leipzig


Please enclose the completed sample sending document with the samples (please contact us, we will provide this to you)

To guarantee a smooth process, please announce your samples by email at the latest on the day of shipment to or by phone +49/341 33203174.

When will I receive my results

DNA barcoding (individuals): 1-2 weeks

Metabarcoding (mixed samples): 2-6 weeks- Economy Run: 6-12 weeks

Population genetics (individuals): 2-6 weeks

Can all specimens be barcoded and identified up to species level

Due to the continuous efforts of the national and international DNA barcoding campaigns, 90 to 95% of the common species in Central Europe can be identified by CO1 Barcoding. If the species identification is unsuccessful, an analyzed sample may in most cases be assigned to the genus and / or family. This can allow e.g., the exclusion of a pest species.

What types of results are generated

OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Units) are formed as part of the bioinformatory process from sequences (which are usually not more than 2% different from each other).

OTUs are valuable:

In cases where no species-ID is possible, this can of course happen in the future.

The BIN system (Barcode Index Nummer) of the online platform BOLD is based on a chain of algorithms that cluster similar barcode sequences while checking for taxonomic integrity.

BIN clusters have a very high correlation with the actual species (between 90 and 99% depending on the group of animals).

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