We present a protocol related to a video-tracking technique based on the background subtraction and image thresholding that makes it possible to individually track cohoused animals. We tested the tracking routine with four cohoused Norway lobsters (Nephrops norvegicus) under lightdarkness conditions for 5 days. The lobsters had been individually tagged. The experimental setup and the tracking techniques used are entirely based on the open source software. The comparison of the tracking output with a manual detection indicates that the lobsters were correctly detected 69% of the times. Among the correctly detected lobsters, their individual tags were correctly identified 89.5% of the times. Considering the frame rate used in the protocol and the movement rate of lobsters, the performance of the video tracking has a good quality, and the representative results support the validity of the protocol in producing valuable data for research needs (individual space occupancy or locomotor activity patterns). The protocol presented here can be easily customized and is, hence, transferable to other species where the individual tracking of specimens in a group can be valuable for answering research questions.
Long-term video tracking of cohoused aquatic animals: a case study of the daily locomotor activity of the Norway Lobster (Nephrops norvegicus)
Garcia, J. A., Sbragaglia, V., Masip, D., Aguzzi, J. (2019). Long-term video tracking of cohoused aquatic animals: a case study of the daily locomotor activity of the Norway Lobster (Nephrops norvegicus). Journal of Visualized Experiments, 146, e58515, 1-13
Erschienen in: Journal of Visualized Experiments, 146, e58515, 1-13