Survival of Gammarus troglophilus (Gammaridae) after leg removal: Evaluation of a procedure to obtain tissue for genetic analysis of rare and endangered amphipods

Frank M. Wilhelm, Michael P. Venarsky, Steven J. Taylor, Frank E. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The removal of rare or endangered individuals from wild populations for evaluation of genetic composition may have deleterious consequences to these populations. As a viable alternative, we recommend limb removal as a means to obtain tissue for genetic analysis of rare amphipods. The effect of limb amputation on the survival of amphipods has not been previously studied. Our experiments showed that survival of Gammarus troglophilus, a common amphipod of Midwest caves and springs, was similar (p=.74) between control (unmanipulated) and experimental (amputation of 1 or 2 of the walking legs, pereopods 5 through 7) groups of amphipods. After 42 d, 25 of 26 amphipods in the experimental group had regenerated limbs that were half the size of the original appendage. Post-amputation survival could allow sampling of tissue for genetic analyses without sacrificing individuals, an important asset when working with species that are endangered or for which population sizes are very small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalInvertebrate Biology
Volume122
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • Autospasy
  • Autotomy
  • Endangered species
  • Limb amputation
  • Limb regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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