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Visible implant fluorescent elastomer tagging of the big-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis


Woods, CMC and Martin-Smith, KM, Visible implant fluorescent elastomer tagging of the big-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, Fisheries Research, 66, (2-3) pp. 363-371. ISSN 0165-7836 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0165-7836(03)00183-8


Wild and captive management of seahorses often requires individual or batch identification. In seahorses this has proven difficult in the past because of the seahorses' rigid body structure, reduced size of fins and susceptibility to infection. We investigated the suitability of visible implant fluorescent elastomer (VIFE) for tagging the big-bellied seahorse, Hippocampus abdominalis, Leeson 1827. Thirty-six seahorses were tagged and their mortality, growth and tag retention assessed over a period of 7 months together with 36 control seahorses. No tagged or control animal died. In tagged animals growth rate in standard length (SL) was 6% less than untagged animals (non-significant), and growth rate in weight was 10% less than untagged animals (significant) over the experimental period. No tags were lost during the experiment. Tag visibility under LED blue light did not decline significantly although tag detection with the naked eye decreased significantly over the first month of the experiment. Our results show that VIFE is a highly effective batch tagging method for seahorses with minimal biological effects. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Martin-Smith, KM (Dr Keith Martin-Smith)
ID Code:33745
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:56
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2005-07-20
Last Modified:2011-10-04

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