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In vivo marking of shallow-water and deep-sea amphipods by ingestion of bait mixed with fast green

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Seven vital stains were mixed with fish muscle and fed to a sublittoral lysianassid (Orchomene sp. A collected in Scripps Canyon off La Jolla, California USA between August 1978 and August 1981) in the laboratory to test the utility of these dyes as feeding labels for scavenging amphipods. Fast-green FCF proved to be the most effective of the stains tested; >90% of starved amphipods fed fast-green-stained bait (Scomber japonicus muscle) for as little as 1 h exhibited a conspicuous green coloration along the digestive tract, which lasted an average of ≥35 d. The ability to label animals with such a single, short exposure interval makes this dye especially suitable for marking scavengers attracted to bait. Fast green efficiently stained this amphipod over a broad range of concentrations (1 to 8% by weight in water) and feeding regimes, and had no significant effects on survivorship or activity of laboratory-held organisms. Nile blue A also proved to be an acceptable feeding label for Orchomene sp. A for time scales of about 1 wk. Additional laboratory and field tests between August 1978 and August 1979 indicated that fast green is an effective feeding stain for 2 bathyal species (Orchomene sp. B and O. plebs from the Ross Sea, Antarctica) and 3 abyssal species (Eurythenes gryllus, O. gerulicorbis and Paralicella caperesca from the central North Pacific Ocean) of amphipods. Field labeling of amphipods at 5 800 m in the central North Pacific Ocean with fast green demonstrates that feeding stains may be used readily as in situ marking agents for population studies of scavengers in remote environments.

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Communicated by N. D. Holland, La Jolla

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Smith, C.R., Present, T.M.C. In vivo marking of shallow-water and deep-sea amphipods by ingestion of bait mixed with fast green. Mar. Biol. 73, 183–192 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00406887

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  • Fish Muscle
  • Nile Blue
  • Feeding Regime
  • Fast Green
  • Exposure Interval