VI Alpha Tags

VI Alpha Tag (W68) in Rainbow Trout

VI Alpha Tag (W68) in Rainbow Trout

The VI Alpha Tag is a small, fluorescent tag with an alphanumeric code designed to identify individual animals. VI Alpha Tags are implanted internally but remain externally visible for easy recovery.

VI Alpha Tags are:

  • Easy to load and inject – slide it into the injector needle and snap it off.
  • Fluorescent to enhance tag detection and readability. The VI Light is used to fluoresce the tags.
  • Backed by our one year guarantee.

VI Alpha Tags are easiest to read when they are placed under clear or translucent tissue. Many fish and amphibians have transparent tissue (adipose eyelids, fin membranes, clear bony tissue, etc.), but tag retention varies by body location, size, and species. In some cases, the tags can be placed under pigmented tissue where they are not visible in ambient light, but can be seen when they are fluoresced with the VI Light. This tends to be more effective if the tissue is evenly pigmented rather than mottled. VI Alpha Tags are widely used for individual identification of amphibians as an alternative to toe clipping. Tag retention tends to be nearly 100%, although the visibility of the tags varies based on the pigmentation of the overlying skin. Please contact NMT Biology for advice about applications to particular species.

Large VI Alpha Tags are shown on the left in orange, Standard VI Alpha Tags are shown on the right in yellow

Large VI Alpha Tags are shown on the left in orange, Standard VI Alpha Tags are shown on the right in yellow

VI Alpha Tags are available in two sizes: standard (1.2 mm x 2.7 mm), shown in yellow, and large (2 mm x 5 mm), shown in orange. The larger tags are easier to read than the standard tags, and are suitable for larger animals.

Standard tags are available with black lettering on a fluorescent orange, red, yellow or green background. Large tags have black lettering on a fluorescent orange background. Each color has 2,500 different codes.

VI Alpha Injector

VI Alpha Injector

VI Alpha Injector for implanting VI Alpha Tags.

VI Alpha Tags are implanted using the VI Alpha Injector. Tags are loaded into the flat needle and ejected with an internal push rod.

Two versions of the injector body are available. Injectors labeled “V2.0” can be used with either the large or standard tags with the corresponding needle. Injectors without the “V2.0” can be used only with the standard tags.