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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 368:305-308 (2008)  -  DOI:

Assessment of an underwater biopsy probe for collecting teleost fish tissue samples

R. D. Evans*

School of Marine & Tropical Biology and Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, 4811 Queensland, Australia

ABSTRACT: This study tested the efficiency of an underwater biopsy probe designed to remove tissue samples for molecular analysis from small- to medium-sized (15 to 70 cm) marine teleost fish in the field. The probe was fired at lower and higher power from a 76 cm rubber-propelled spear gun. Two species were targeted: Plectropomus maculatus and Lutjanus carponotatus. The results were highly successful for P. maculatus, with >80% of hits at lower and higher power resulting in sufficient tissue extraction for molecular analysis. The results were less consistent for L. carponotatus at lower power (45%) due to the relatively large scales of the fish. At higher power the success rate increased to 73%. In 97% of cases, fish swam away rapidly with only minor lesions and showing no signs of incapacitation. Furthermore, aquarium trials showed no post-impact mortality after a 2 wk period. Therefore, the biopsy probe tested in this study is considered successful when the spear gun is fired at the correct power for the target species. This will allow for easier tissue sample collection from small- to medium-sized teleost fish for population and phylogenetic studies than previous methods of killing or capturing individuals.

KEY WORDS: Underwater biopsy probe · Tissue sampling · Teleost fish · Plectropomus maculatus · Lutjanus carponotatus · Molecular analysis

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Cite this article as: Evans RD (2008) Assessment of an underwater biopsy probe for collecting teleost fish tissue samples. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 368:305-308.

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