Although DNA sequencing can facilitate great insights into the evolution of organisms and potentially provides an efficient approach to discriminating morphologically similar species, there is no getting around the need for specialists with genuine expert knowledge of the identification of organisms. de Mendonca et al. (2011), for example, report significant identification error rates for sequences from Tetranychus mites deposited in genetic databases. Several species in this genus are of economic and quarantine importance in agriculture (notably, T. urticae, a highly polyphagous mite that plagues many crops worldwide) so accurate identification has practical significance. Among the deposited sequences the authors examined from the GenBank database, numerous cases of apparently mistaken identities were identified, especially among T. urticae, T. cinnabarinus, T. kanzawai and T. truncatus. de Mendonca et al. concluded that nearly a third of the sequences they examined were unreliable or questionable.
- de Mendonca, R.S., D. Navia, I.R. Diniz, P. Auger, and M. Navajas. 2011. A critical review on some closely related species of Tetranychus sensu stricto (Acari: Tetranychidae) in the public DNA sequences databases. Experimental and Applied Acarology 55(1): 1-23.
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