Price: This software is freely available for non-commercial scientific use
Download: DOWNLOAD – Please register your details before downloading this software
Product author: Molecular Fisheries Laboratory
Release date: July 2005
Version: 2.3
This version fixes the following bugs: a bug that occurs when the loci are not ordered on allele sizes in the user file input that caused some feasible batch strategies not to be found; a number of spelling mistakes; a bug that caused the program to crash in Version 1.3 when you deleted a strategy; a bug that meant the progress bar disappeared after you changed focus to other software and then came back to LocusEater. This version adds the option to stimulate with a related population for a given effective size (Ne).
Download format: 605kB exe file.

Product information

Genetic mark-recapture, or gene tagging, requires efficient methods of uniquely identifying individuals. ‘Shadows’ (individuals with the same genotype at the selected loci) can bias harvest rate estimates for managed resources. Panels of microsatellite loci can be designed to minimise the number of shadows appearing, but this aspect of panel design is a complex multiple-component optimisation process. LocusEater will automate this process by simulating the entire genetic mark-recapture experiment, from panel design to harvest-rate estimation and perform a power analysis to estimate the level of sampling and processing required for a given level of precision in harvest rate estimates.

Preferred citation and further information

Hoyle, S.D., Peel, D., Ovenden, J. R., Broderick, D. & Buckworth, R. (2005). ShadowBoxer and LocusEater: programs to optimise experimental design and multiplexing strategies for genetic mark-recapture. Molecular Ecology Notes 5, 974-976

Computing requirements

The minimum computing requirements for running LocusEater are as follows.

A PC with any of the Microsoft Windows operating system versions listed below installed. It is assumed that if you are able to run one of these operating systems, you have enough computing power to run the LocusEater software.

  • 95, 98, or ME
  • 2000, NT (version 4.0 with service pack 3 or later) with access to an Administrator account
  • Windows XP

Approximately 2 MB free hard disk space (not including user data space requirements).
Mouse or compatible pointing device.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Is there a version of LocusEater available for Macs?
A: No.

Q: How do I get a copy of LocusEater?
A: Click on the link below to open the LocusEater registration page. Register yourself as a user of LocusEater (enter your details in the spaces provided and click the submit button), then download the LocusEater installation file (locuseatersetup.exe).

Q: How do I get LocusEater started once I have downloaded the installation file?
A: Once you have a copy of the installation file on your computer, double-click this file’s icon. The installation wizard will open and lead you through the installation process. Once the installation process is complete, you will be able to start the program (double-click on the file ‘LocusEater.exe’) and use the online help to guide you further.

Q: Can I use my data that is saved in Microsoft Access or Excel?
A: Yes you can use data from any program as long as you can save or export the data as a text file first (tab, space or comma delimited are all acceptable). See the LocusEater online help for more information about the accepted format for the input data.

Q: How do I uninstall LocusEater?
A: There is an uninstall program provided with LocusEater. There are several ways of activating this program (e.g. through the Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel of Windows 2000) of which one is described here. Find the file ‘uninstall.exe’ in the LocusEater installation directory (e.g. ‘C:\Program Files\LocusEater’) and double-click it. A message will ask ‘Are you sure you want to uninstall LocusEater?’, click ‘Yes’. LocusEater will be uninstalled. If the ‘Uninstalling LocusEater’ window asks, the file ‘help.GID’ can be deleted.


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