• cox 1;
  • DNA extraction;
  • minute insects;
  • mtDNA barcoding


DNA extraction from minute hymenopterans and their larvae is difficult and challenging because of their small size indicating a low amount of starting material. Hence, 11 DNA extraction methods were compared to determine their efficacy in isolating DNA. Success of each method was scored on a 2% agarose gel after PCR of the cox 1 mitochondrial locus. A silica-membrane-based approach was the most successful, followed by a method using a combination of incubation buffers and a method using magnetic beads. The method using buffers was the most cost- and time effective. Using this method, larvae from Eucalyptus seed capsule galls could be assigned a role (parasitoid, gall former or inquiline) in the gall-inhabiting complex.