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Saphenous venipuncture for field collection of blood from least chipmunks


  • Associate Editor: M. J. Peterson.


During a study of least chipmunks (Tamias minimus), we successfully collected whole blood from 166 individuals via venipuncture of the saphenous vein. This method allowed us to collect quantities of blood suitable for various blood analyses and resulted in minimal and localized tissue damage from the puncture. Recapture rate within trapping sessions during the year we used saphenous venipuncture (2010) was similar to that in years when we did not collect blood (2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011). In addition, recaptured individuals showed full wound healing within 24 hr of blood collection. Based on our experience, we recommend saphenous venipuncture for field research over other methods commonly used for collection from small mammals, including bleeding from the retro-orbital sinus and tail clipping, because of reduced discomfort and injury to the animal, rapid healing at the puncture site, and the limited influence on recapture and survival. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.