A comparison of short-term marking methods for small frogs using a model species, the striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peronii)

British Herpetological Society
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Journal Article
Herpetological Journal, 2011, 21 (4), pp. 271 - 273
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We compared three methods of marking individual small frogs for identification in short-term studies (several days) using a model species, Limnodynastes peronii (the striped marsh frog). We performed a manipulative experiment under laboratory conditions to compare retention times of gentian violet, mercurochrome and powdered fluorescent pigment. Gentian violet produced the most durable marks with retention times between two and four days. Mercurochrome was retained for at least one day by all treated frogs. Fluorescent pigment was either not retained at all or for one day at most, which suggests that this marking method may not be reliable for short-term studies where identification is required. No adverse reactions to any of the marking methods were detected in our study. Our findings indicate that gentian violet represents a promising alternative as a minimally invasive marking technique for studies of small frogs requiring only shortterm retention of identification marks.
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