Data from: Individual marking of soft-bodied subtidal invertebrates in situ - a novel staining technique applied to the giant plumose anemone Metridium farcimen (Tilesius, 1809)
Wells, Christopher D.; Sebens, Kenneth P. (2018), Data from: Individual marking of soft-bodied subtidal invertebrates in situ - a novel staining technique applied to the giant plumose anemone Metridium farcimen (Tilesius, 1809), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rc1p0
The ability to recognize individuals and track growth over time is crucial to population dynamics research as well as studies of animal behavior. Invertebrates are particularly difficult to track as they often molt, have regenerative capabilities, or lack hard parts to attach markers. We tested, in laboratory and field studies, a new way of marking sea anemones (order Actiniaria) by injection of three vital stains (i.e., neutral red, methylene blue, and fluorescein). Neutral red and methylene blue did not affect growth or survival, but fluorescein was lethal at high concentrations. Marked individuals could be identified up to seven months after injection with neutral red, six weeks with methylene blue, and three days with low concentrations of fluorescein. Neutral red could be used for long-term monitoring of growth and survival in the field, and in combination with methylene blue could be used to mark individuals in distinguishable patterns for short-term studies such as examining predator-prey interactions, movement of individuals, and recruitment survival.