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Great Crested Newt eDNA testing Q&A

Jgreenham Min

This is a brief Q&A with Jaimie Greenham, Development and Technology Manager at Cellmark in Abingdon.

What is the scientific name for a great crested newt?

The scientific name for the Great Crested Newt is Triturus cristatus.  Triturus is derived from the mythological greek god triton, the messenger of the sea, while cristatus is latin for crested.

What is eDNA?

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is nuclear or mitochondrial DNA that is released from an organism into the environment.  Sources of eDNA include skin, mucous, eggs, faeces and decomposing carcasses.

When can you when can you carry out eDNA tests for great crested newts?

Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys are completed between mid-April to late June. Natural England will only accept eDNA survey results from samples collected between 15 April and 30 June each year.

What part of the newt DNA does the test look for?

Cellmark’s eDNA assay targets a section of the Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) gene which is found in the Mitochondrial DNA of Great Crested Newts.

How long can great crested newt eDNA be detected for?

In aquatic environments, eDNA is diluted and distributed in the water where it can persist for a number of weeks, depending on the conditions.

How does the eDNA testing kit ordering process work?

  • Order yours kits online or call 0800 193 3362
  • Cellmark delivers the kits out to you, with next day delivery if you order by 3pm
  • Collect your eDNA samples and send back to us.
  • Cellmark will complete your eDNA tests and send you the results within 10 days.

We also offer 5 day, 2 day or next day turnaround.

Do you offer a discount if I need to bulk order eDNA testing kits?

Yes, please call 0800 193 3362 or email with your order details and we will come back to you with a bulk order price. We also offer a special price of £150 +VAT for 5 kits or more, with a 10 day turnaround.

If you have any other questions call 0800 193 3362 or email or we have an FAQs page.