Acute and delayed effects of thiacloprid on seven freshwater arthropods

Ecotoxicological risk assessment of contaminants often is based on toxicity tests with continuous-exposure profiles. However, input of many contaminants (e.g., insecticides) to surface waters typically occurs in pulses rather than continuously. Neonicotinoids are a new group of insecticides, and little is known about their toxicity to nontarget freshwater organisms and potential effects on freshwater ecosystems. The aim of the present research was to assess effects of short-term (24-h) exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide thiacloprid, including a postexposure observation period. A comparison of several freshwater insect and crustacean species showed an increase of sensitivity by three orders of magnitude in the following order: Daphnia magna < Asellus aquaticus = Gammarus pulex < Simpetrum striolatum < Culex pipiens = Notidobia ciliaris = Simulium latigonium, with median lethal concentrations (LC50s) of 4,400, 153, 190, 31.2, 6.78, 5.47, and 5.76 μg/L, respectively (postexposure observation 11–30 d). Thiacloprid caused delayed lethal and sublethal effects, which were observed after 4 to 12 d following exposure. Reduction in LC50s found when postexposure observation was extended from 1 d to a longer period (11–30 d) was up to >50-fold. Hence, delayed effects occurring after short-term exposure should be considered in risk assessment. The 5% hazardous concentration (HC5) of thiacloprid obtained in the present study (0.72 μg/L) is more than one order of magnitude below the currently predicted worst-case environmental concentrations in surface water. Concerning the selection of test organisms, we observed that the widely employed test organism D. magna is least sensitive among the arthropods tested and that, for neonicotinoid insecticides, an insect like the mosquito C. pipiens would be more suitable for predicting effects on sensitive species.

Source: Mikhail A. Beketov, Matthias Liess (2008) Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27(2): 461-470