Techniques for obtaining DNA noninvasively or nonlethally are highly desirable in molecular genetic studies of protected species, and several advances have been made in these types of sampling and extraction techniques. Insects present a unique set of difficulties in this regard that are not present when working with most vertebrates. This study evaluated the effectiveness of several nonlethal sampling techniques for larval and adults of the federally listed endangered dragonfly Somatochlora hineana (Williamson) (Odonata: Corduliidae). Fecal pellets and shed exuviae from captive S. hineana larvae did not provide high enough quality DNA for microsatellite analyses. Invasive, but nonlethal, wing clips from adults and tarsi from larvae provided high-quality DNA that amplified 10 microsatellite markers for this species. Ten loci were polymorphic in 94 specimens with four to 14 alleles per locus. Two populations in WI had average observed heterozygosity of 0.47, which is within the range reported for other odonates. Our sampling techniques and these new microsatellite markers provide an essential tool for determining the genetic structure of S. hineana populations throughout its range.
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Vol. 103 • No. 6