Otolith Removal and Preparation
for Microstructural Examination: A Users Manual (1991)
D.H. Secor, J.M. Dean, and E.H. Laban
Otolith microstructural studies exist for over 50 families and 135 species of fish and aquid. A review of more than 200 investigations showed that a wide variety of techniques have beeb used in otolith microstructure studies. We foresaw the need of a manual on otolith preparation as microstructure studies become routine in life history investigations. The purpose of our manual is to:
- Permit and encourage fish biologists and fishery scientists to include otolith microstructural analysis in their investigations,
- List all techniques, materials, and equipment necessary for large-scale aging studies on young fishes, and
- Provide a basis for standardization of protocols and techniques
To accomplish these aims, detailed methods are provided on otolith removal, cleaning, storage, sectioning, polishing, and etching. We emphasize that there are many alternative methods to those described in the manual. To facilitate review of other laboratories' techniques, tables are provided which sort out published methods by author and species.
||ENTIRE MANUAL [Warning - This is a 34.5 Mb Document; will open in a new window]
- Panella's Rosetta Stone
- Manual objectives
- How to use this manual
- Otolith and vestibular structure
- Variation in otolith morphology
- Anatomy of the auditory capsule
- Which otolith and section?
- Which mounting and embedding media?
- Which polishing technique?
- Otoliths greater than 300 µm: Macroscopic techniques
- Otoliths less than 300 µm: Microscopic techniques
- Otoliths greater than 300 µm
- Otoliths less than 300 µm
- General polishing procedure
- Polishing otoliths less than 300 µm
- Polishing techniques for species with other otolith morphologies
- Storage of sections
- Otolith preparation for SEM examination
- Choice of etching agents
- Sources of technical error
- Precision and efficiency
- Labor and material costs