Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 99, Issue 8–9, pp 687–695 | Cite as

Otolith fluorescent and thermal marking of elongate loach (Leptobotia elongata) at early life stages

  • Kun Yang
  • Rukui Zeng
  • Weixiong Gan
  • Longjun Deng
  • Zhaobin Song


The elongate loach (Leptobotia elongata) is an important fish species for artificial release program during the development of hydropower stations in upper Yangtze River drainage. We explored the chemical and thermal marking of otoliths for the species in this study, hoping to provide appropriate marking approaches for it. Chemical marking was conducted by immersing elongate loach in alizarin complexone (ALC) of concentrations 50–250 mg L−1 or alizarin red S (ARS) of concentrations 30–150 mg L−1. The results demonstrated that all concentrations of ALC and ARS treatments had 100 % fluorescent marks in sagittae and lapilli (grade ≥ 3), and that mark quality and mortality increased with increasing of fluorochrome concentration, while decreased with increasing of total length. The optimal conditions of otolith fluorescent marking for larval and juvenile elongate loach were to immerse in 50–100 mg L−1 ALC or 30–90 mg L−1 ARS solutions for 12–24 h. Larvae thermally marked by being exposed to five water temperature regimes represented different patterns of otolith increment. The control of duration in the heated water could produce some narrow or wide increments, and there was a significantly positive relationship between increment width and duration in heated water in each cycle of water temperature fluctuation. More and complicated otolith mark patterns could be produced by combining thermal marking with fluorescent immersion. Considering efficiency, operability and low-cost, the ARS immersing and thermal marking methods are recommended for mass-marking elongate loach at early life stages.


Leptobotia elongata Otolith marking Alizarin complexone Alizarin red S Water temperature fluctuation 



This study was supported by the Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, Ltd. (No. 12H0856) and Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-11-0347). We thank the Fisheries Research Institute of Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences for providing the elongate loach larvae for our experiments. We also thank Dr. Fangdong Zou, Yajun Wang and Yucheng Lin for their technical assistance in examination of otoliths, Niels Michiel Moed and Xiuyue Zhang for their helpful revisions of English language. All procedures performed as a part of this study were performed in accordance with ethical standards approved by the Sichuan University Medical Ethics Committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kun Yang
    • 1
  • Rukui Zeng
    • 2
  • Weixiong Gan
    • 2
  • Longjun Deng
    • 2
  • Zhaobin Song
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Sichuan Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology on Endangered Wildlife, College of Life SciencesSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Environmental Protection CenterYalong River Hydropower Development Company, Ltd.ChengduChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Bio-Resources and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life SciencesSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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