Reemeyer, J. E., Harris, J. C., Hernandez, A. M. et al. 2019. Effects of passive integrated transponder tagging on cortisol release, aerobic metabolism and growth of the Gulf killifish Fundulus grandis. Journal of Fish Biology 94(3), 422-433.
The effects of passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging on cortisol release, standard metabolic rate (SMR) and daily specific growth rate (GS) were evaluated in the Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis, a small estuarine fish native to the Gulf of Mexico. Cortisol release by individual fish was measured non-invasively prior to PIT tagging, immediately after tagging and once per week for 1 month following tagging. Within the first 2 h of tagging, cortisol release rates were significantly elevated compared with values measured prior to tagging and significantly higher than that of fish handled identically except not implanted with PIT tags. By 1 week after PIT tagging, cortisol release rates returned to control levels. SMR, determined by intermittent-flow respirometry and GS, defined as per cent change in body mass per day, were measured prior to PIT tagging and weekly for 1 month after tagging. Neither SMR nor GS was significantly different in tagged v. untagged fish for the duration of the study. One month after tagging, haematocrit, plasma cortisol, blood glucose and blood lactate did not differ between tagged and untagged individuals. Therefore, after a transient stress response that subsides within 1 week, PIT tagging had no significant effects on these physiological variables in F. grandis, validating its use as a method of marking this and other small fishes.