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NatureMetrics Bulk Invertebrate DNA Kits are optimised for the collection of invertebrate community samples. Both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate communities can be assessed. We accept samples from a variety of established sampling methods such as Malaise, Pitfall, Light and Winkler traps, Kick nets and sieved sediment. For high quality DNA sequencing, we recommend analytical-grade ethanol (> 95%) as a trapping solution/ preservative, or food-grade propylene glycol as an alternative. Samples can also be stored dry. The use of formaldehyde during trapping and/or storage must be avoided. Please contact the NatureMetrics team if you plan to use trapping solutions/preservatives other than ethanol.

Note: Most (c.75%) UK invertebrates are represented in reference databases allowing us to identify them to species level. For species that are not in the reference database, higher level taxonomy is provided (e.g. genus, family).



A NatureMetrics Bulk Invertebrate DNA Kit contains the following components:

2x barcoded forensic swabs in collection tubes

1x pair of nitrile gloves

2x barcode stickers

1x sampling datasheet

1x absorbent pad


This protocol only provides the steps required to use the kit for suitable storage and shipping of the samples – it does not provide guidance on how invertebrates are collected. Please talk to a member of our team if you would like further advice on how to collect invertebrate samples.

Once the invertebrate community sample has been obtained:

1. Put on the gloves provided to reduce potential contamination.

2. If a preservative was used during collection and/or storage of the community, drain the sample of any fluid.

3. Remove debris or detritus (including any plant matter, soil or stones) from the sample.

4. Carefully open the container lid, taking care to avoid spilling the liquid. The lid should be placed upside down on the kit contents bag while completing the next step to reduce potential contamination.

5. Transfer the collected invertebrates into the ethanol container provided, ensuring all invertebrates are covered. Avoid filling the container more than three quarters full.

6. Replace the lid of the container, securing it tightly.

7. Complete the sampling datasheet and use the NatureMetrics app to scan the barcode on the sampling datasheet to complete your online submission. Please record your sampling data on paper and through the app so there is a physical and electronic copy of your data.

8. Place the sample container and the sampling datasheet back into the kit contents bag.

9. Carefully compress the bag to remove as much air as possible and seal the kit bag. If storing the sample at ambient temperatures, it should be received by the lab within 2 weeks of sampling. If this is not possible, we recommend that the sample is frozen as soon as possible after sampling. Cold shipping is not necessary for frozen samples. Please contact NatureMetrics if return within 2 weeks or long-term freezing is not possible.

10. For UK sample returns using ethanol, contact your NatureMetrics Business Development Manager or email our specialist team at for instructions on how to return your sample safely. NatureMetrics is fully compliant with current legislation on the transport of biological material and our operations team are on hand to ensure that all return shipments meet the required specification. It is very important that you follow our specific procedures for any sample returned in ethanol. We are only able to analyse samples that are returned using the correct NatureMetrics logistics procedure.

10. The address for sending is Nature Metrics, 1 Occam Court, Surrey Research Park, Guildford, GU2 7HJ, United Kingdom.

10. We can also accept samples sent to us dry. Please contact the NatureMetrics team if you would like to send us a sample stored dry or in a different preservative.

Important: See below for logistics information for samples containing ethanol.


  • Return your samples using the box that kits were sent in, where possible.

  • If using an alternative box, ensure that it is in good condition and remove any old labels.

  • Avoid excess spacing by adding cushioning material (e.g. bubble wrap, newspaper) to avoid the product shifting inside the box.

  • Use good quality sealing tape and seal along box edges in a H pattern.

  • The only essential thing to send back to us is the specimen bag containing the filter and the sampling datasheet. However, all kit contents can be sent back to NatureMetrics for recycling.

  • Register for your my.naturemetrics account here.

  • Please find our Terms and Conditions here.


Important considerations for your sampling

  • It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that all efforts have been made to avoid contamination from external sources and between samples.

  • Handling samples without gloves can increase the content of human DNA, reducing data generation.

  • After sampling, movement of samples across borders without permission is not allowed as they are classed as biological samples.

Disclaimer: Safe sample collection is the responsibility of the Client. NatureMetrics accepts no liability associated with the use of the kits and sample collection. The Client is solely responsible for the quality of the samples and the representativeness of the samples received by NatureMetrics. The information contained within the Final Report provided by NatureMetrics to the Client is not intended to be advisory, it is informational. Interpretation and decisions are the sole responsibility of the Client. NatureMetrics does not accept any liability whatsoever for any reliance placed on any information contained within, or any use that may be made of, the Final Report by the Client. Please read the full limitation of liability statement in the Terms and Conditions.

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