Linking morphological and molecular taxonomy for the identifcation of poultry house, soil, and nest dwelling mites in the Western Palearctic
Young, Monica R.
Moraza, Maria L.
Baardsen, Lisa F.
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Because of its ability to expedite specimen identifcation and species delineation, the barcode index number (BIN) system presents a powerful tool to characterize hyperdiverse invertebrate groups such as the Acari (mites). However, the congruence between BINs and morphologically recognized species has seen limited testing in this taxon. We therefore apply this method towards the development of a barcode reference library for soil, poultry litter, and nest dwelling mites in the Western Palearctic. Through analysis of over 600 specimens, we provide DNA barcode coverage for 35 described species and 70 molecular taxonomic units (BINs). Nearly 80% of the species were accurately identifed through this method, but just 60% perfectly matched (1:1) with BINs. High intraspecifc divergences were found in 34% of the species examined and likely refect cryptic diversity, highlighting the need for revision in these taxa. These fndings provide a valuable resource for integrative pest management, but also highlight the importance of integrating morphological and molecular methods for fne-scale taxonomic resolution in poorly-known invertebrate lineages