Mouse Identification

Ear punch

Ear notches or holes produced by an ear punch device. Used for wean age or older mice to create a unique identifier. Common ear numbering systems:

Price: $2.95 each

Vendors and product information:

  • Roboz Surgical Instruments Co., Inc.
  • Braintree Scientific, Inc. 
  • Kent Scientific Corporation 

Ear tag

A metal ID tag placed in the mouse ear pinna with a special applicator. For mice wean age or older. Ear tags may fall out or be torn out over time.

Price: $2.95 each

Vendors and product information: 

  • National Band and Tag Company
  • Kent Scientific Corporation


FDA-approved pigment on the tail, toe or ear to identify mice of any age. Typically used for neonatal mice. Consult your institutions ACUC for accepted protocols.

Price: See JAX Surgical Services

Vendors and product information:

  • Braintree Scientific, Inc.
  • Fine Scientific Tools
  • Animal Identification and Marking Systems
  • SOMARK Innovations Inc.

Microchip implant

Small subcutaneous devices that transmit a unique identification code. For wean age or older mice. Mice may need to be anesthetized or sedated for implantation. Consult your institutional ACUC guidelines.

Price: See JAX Surgical Services

Vendors and product information:

JAXTag™ identification system

An innovative, rodent identification system designed to reliably identify mice for genotyping, experimental procedures or treatment. The small, lightweight tags fasten securely for long-term use, are non-irritating and may be read using commercially available scanners.

Learn more about JAXTag™

JAXTag™ is available as an option for identifying any JAX® Mice strain shipping to your facility or for Custom Breeding projects through JAX® Services. The JAXTag™ system, including unique applicator and un-affixed tags, is not currently available for purchase. If this system would be beneficial for use at your facility in the future, we'd like to hear from you. 


JAXTag™ benefits

  • Highly reliable retention
  • Non-irritating and do not require anesthesia to apply
  • Durable and secure for more than 18 months
  • Ultra-light stainless steel, about one-tenth the weight of standard tags
  • Laser-etched digital 2D Datamatrix barcode and 5 alphanumeric digits provide 52 million unique permutations.
  • Read by commercially available digital scanners (see more information below)
  • Data capture with standard software including Excel, FilemakerPro, JAX Colony Management System or other colony management software applications 
  • Easily removable using a low-cost, commercially available de-tagger (Medline Sterile Skin Staple Remover). View JAXTag™ Removal Instructions.
  • Not recommended for use in MRI or other imaging equipment sensitive to metal objects 

How to use JAXTag™

  • Connect your digital scanner to your computer and software application according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Determine the optimal distance between your scanner and an affixed JAXTag™.
  • Activate the scanner to read JAXTag™.

How to order JAXTag™

JAXTag™ is available as an option for identifying any JAX® Mice strain shipping to your facility or for Custom Breeding projects through JAX® Services. Simply ask for JAXTag™ when ordering JAX® Mice or when requesting a JAX® Services Custom Breeding project.

JAXTag™ scanner options

JAXTag™ can be read by a number of commercially available scanners of varying price and quality. Options include the DataMan 750s series, a hand-held scanner with USB cable and lens adjustment capability used at The Jackson Laboratory and available from Gibson Engineering (Model:GEC-DMR-750S-USB-JL) for ~$600.
IMPORTANT: Gibson Engineering sells different models. This "JL" model scanner will arrive preconfigured for use with the JAXTag™ Identification System.

Select JAX Mice ship with JAXTag™ as a standard

JAXTag™ was developed as part of a continuous quality-improvement initiative to ensure the highest possible accuracy in JAX® Mice tracking and selection. As a result of implementing this new technology, the following JAX® Mice strains will ship with JAXTag™ ear tags affixed beginning in 2012:

  • B6.Cg-Lepob/J (from heterozygous x heterozygous matings) (000632)
  • B6.BKS(D)-Leprdb/J (from heterozygous x heterozygous matings) (000697)
  • B6.Cg-Foxn1nu/J (heterozygotes only) (000819)
  • C57BL/6J-ApcMin/J (002020)
  • B6SJL-Tg(SOD1*G93A)1Gur/J (002726)
  • B6CBA-Tg(HDexon1)62Gpb/1J (002810)
  • B6CBA-Tg(HDexon1)62Gpb/3J (006494)
  • NOD.Cg-B2mtm1Unc Prkdcscid Il2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ (010636)

JAXTag™ ear tags are non-irritating and may be read using commercially available scanners. They were not developed for use in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment or other equipment sensitive to the presence of metal objects, but can be easily removed using a low-cost, commercially available de-tagger (Medline sterile skin staple remover). View JAXTag™ removal instructions.