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specimens barcoded:  71044
species barcoded:  6171
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Welcome to the Australian campaign of the Lepidoptera Barcode of Life.

The lepidopteran fauna of Australia includes some 10500 known species and a similar number are thought to await description. Many species found in northern Queensland also occur in Papua New Guinea, but the remainder of the fauna is largely endemic. Because taxonomic work has been intensive in the eastern half of Australia, its fauna provides a test for the effectiveness of DNA barcodes in the discrimination of known species. It additionally provides the chance to ascertain if DNA barcodes can reveal species overlooked by past taxonomic work and to examine if barcodes can resolve uncertain synonymies. By contrast, the fauna of the remainder of the continent is poorly known, allowing DNA barcoding to aid species discovery and description.

Researchers at three organizations are providing key support for this campaign. Marianne Horak and Ted Edwards at CSIRO’s Division of Entomology in Canberra are leading the taxonomic work, and the Australian National Insect Collection, that they oversee, will be the major repository for barcoded specimens. Andrew Mitchell of the Scientific Collections Unit of the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Michelle Glover of CSIRO Entomology are co-ordinating specimen collections, identifications and data interpretation. Finally, researchers at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario are responsible for the acquisition, curation and analysis of barcode records. Other researchers are making important contributions to specimen collections and identifications, but as this campaign is just beginning, additional participation will be critical to progress.

iBOL Overview
The International Barcode of Life project (iBOL) is the largest biodiversity genomics initiative ever undertaken. Work over the past five years has produced DNA barcode records for more than 50,000 species and laid the groundwork for the official launch of iBOL in July 2010. More than 25 countries are involved and major commitments have been made toward the Phase 1 operating budget of $150 million.

By 2015, consortium members will have entered DNA barcode records from 5 million specimens representing 500,000 species into the interactive Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD), creating the foundation for a subsequent push towards a DNA barcode reference library for all of Earth’s eukaryotes.

iBOL is a not-for-profit organization overseen by an international board of directors representing funding organizations. The iBOL Secretariat is housed by the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph.


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