Colour DNA barcode snippets  are short sequences of mitochondrial DNA translated into coloured stripes. They form the border of our bee trading cards for specific bees (see cards 1-9, and also barcode bonus card 24 here).  If you have the cards you can visually compare them by aligning the cards. The level of difference between different species is much larger than the amount of variation within species.

Click to see the full size images below.  There are three species of leaf cutter bee (genus Megachile), two species of mason bee (genus Osmia) and four species of bumble bee (genus Bombus). Mitochondrial DNA allows us to identify species and better understand some genetic aspects of local bee biodiversity.  Professor Laurence Packer explains about DNA colour barcodes and why DNA barcoding is useful in the study of pollinators at the page  About colour-coded DNA barcodes.

Right click and choose “Save As…” to download and compare.

The above DNA barcodes are generously provided by The Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD).