Characterization of functional vessels is required either for monitoring hemodynamics or patterning of functional vasculature in experimental models. Haemoglobin (Hb) staining is a traditionally used approach for determining the differentiation of erythroid cells. In this investigation, we tested if HB staining can be used for portraying of functional vasculature in experimental zebrafish embryos. The staining sufficiently revealed aortic arches, dorsal aorta. posterior cardinal vein, dorsal longitudinal anastomotic vessels, intersegmental vessels as well as subintestinal vessel basket. We conclude that Hb staining offers an informative and rapid method for in vivo portraying of functional vasculature in experimental zebrafish embryos. It is also suitable for large scale experiments. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.