DNA-based identification of preys from non-destructive, total DNA extractions of predators using arthropod universal primers


J. Pons, Unitat de Biologia Evolutiva, Facultat de Ciencies de la Salut i de la Vida, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Dr. Aiguader 80, 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Fax: 34 93 5422802; E-mail: joan.pons@upf.edu


Here, I show that prey sequences can be detected from DNA of tiger beetles of the genus Rivacindela using whole specimens, nondestructive methods, and universal cytochrome b primers for arthropods. BLAST searches of the obtained sequences against public databases revealed that the diet of Rivacindela is mostly composed of flies but also termites and other beetles. Accurate determination of order, family and even genus was achieved in most cases but rarely to species level. Results suggest that stored DNA samples extracted from whole predatory specimens could be an alternative to dissected gut contents as starting source for DNA-based dietary studies.