SUMMARY We have developed a miniaturized very high frequency (VHF) transmitter design for radio-tagging small animals. The average mass of the circuitry is 0.084 g (range 0.081-0.087), hence, with the smallest power cell, complete tags weigh 0.2 g and have a life of 18-22 days. We further demonstrate that with such small tags the technique of attaching the device to the animal's body strongly affects the effective radiated power, and thus transmission ranges. Ideally the attachment couples the electronics to the animal's body as a ground plane for improved radiation. The transmitter allows the application of radio-tracking to be expanded to new taxa whose spatial behaviour and population dynamics are largely unknown, for example arthropods, reptiles or amphibians. The new design is also suitable for miniature implants and signal modulation with sensors.