Invertebrates comprise approximately 34 phyla, while vertebrates represent one subphylum and insects a (very large) class. Thus, the clades excepting vertebrates and insects encompass almost all of animal diversity. Consequently, the barcoding challenge in invertebrates is that of barcoding animals in general. While standard extraction, cleaning, PCR methods, and universal primers work for many taxa, taxon-specific challenges arise because of the shear genetic and biochemical diversity present across the kingdom, and because problems arising as a result of this diversity, and solutions to them, are still poorly characterized for many metazoan clades. The objective of this chapter is to emphasize general approaches, and give practical advice for overcoming the diverse challenges that may be encountered across animal taxa, but we stop short of providing an exhaustive inventory. Rather, we encourage researchers, especially those working on poorly studied taxa, to carefully consider methodological issues presented below, when standard approaches perform poorly.
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