Microcystin is the most prevalent toxin produced by cyanobacteria and poses a severe threat to livestock, humans and entire ecosystems. We report the preparation of a series of fluorescent microcystin derivatives by direct arginine labelling of the unprotected peptides at the guanidinium side chain. This new method allows a simple late-stage diversification strategy for native peptides devoid of protecting groups under mild conditions. A series of fluorophores were conjugated to microcystin-LR in good to very good yield. The fluorescent probes displayed biological activity comparable to that of unlabelled microcystin, in both phosphatase inhibition assays and toxicity tests on the crustacean Thamnocephalus platyurus. In addition, we demonstrate that the fluorescent probes penetrated Huh7 cells. Whole-animal imaging was performed on T. platyurus: labelled compound was mainly observed in the digestive tract.