Get access

Validation and efficacy of transgenerational mass marking of otoliths in viviparous fish larvae


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed at present address: The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan. Tel.: +81 3 5841 2485; fax: +81 3 5841 2485; email:


Transgenerational mass marking of viviparous fish larvae in vivo was validated by intra-muscular injection of elemental strontium chloride (SrCl2) in gestating females and detection of the Sr in the otoliths of developing larvae. All otoliths of brown rockfish Sebastes auriculatus larvae produced from SrCl2-injected females showed enriched Sr:Ca ratios near the otolith edges, and the signatures did not appear to be affected by the anterior, centre and posterior positions of larvae within the ovary. Results from the present study indicate that transgenerational marking is a highly reliable technique for marking large numbers of extremely small viviparous fish larvae.