Calcein as a marker in experimental studies newly-hatched gastropods
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- Moran, A. Marine Biology (2000) 137: 893. doi:10.1007/s002270000390
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A nontoxic method of marking juvenile animals is a prerequisite for many field studies investigating growth and survivorship in marine invertebrates. This study investigates the effectiveness of low concentrations of calcein in marking hatchling snails (Nucella ostrina), the durability of the calcein mark, and the effects of marking on survivorship and growth. I also describe an inexpensive means of visualizing the calcein mark under a dissecting microscope. Results demonstrate that calcein provides a long-lasting, readily detected fluorescent shell mark that can be used to measure shell growth accurately. In addition, marking with calcein did not affect survivorship or growth, and had no size-dependent effects on growth or survivorship.