Baker, S., Knight, E., Pellett, S. et al. 2018. Spider and chips: The use of internal Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips as a minimally invasive method to measure internal body temperatures in invertebrates. Animal Technology and Welfare 17(1), 1-7.
Internal RFID transponders have been used in vertebrates for many years, however studies into their use in invertebrates are less well represented in the literature. The use of RFID transponders for internal temperature measurement represents a less invasive alternative to thermocouples and rectal thermometers. Internal transponders were inserted into three invertebrate species - Salmon pink spiders (Lasiodora parahybana), desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) and Madagascan hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa). Animal behaviour was monitored and temperature measurements were obtained from the transponder and compared with the animals' surroundings. Radiographs confirmed location and relative size of the transponder implants. Surviving animals appeared to behave normally during the study. Small differences in internal temperatures compared to surface surroundings were observed however, further studies are recommended in order to validate these findings. This pilot study demnstrates modern implants designed for rodents can be implanted successfully in large arthropods and this is expected to make a great impact in future invertebrate physiology research.