Main content area

Comparative acute toxicity of twenty-four insecticides to earthworm, Eisenia fetida

Wang, Yanhua, Cang, Tao, Zhao, Xueping, Yu, Ruixian, Chen, Liping, Wu, Changxing, Wang, Qiang
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2012 v.79 pp. 122-128
Eisenia fetida, acute toxicity, antibiotics, bioassays, carbamates, earthworms, insect growth regulators, neonicotinoid insecticides, organophosphorus compounds, pyrethrins, soil toxicity
In this study, we used two different types of bioassay, a contact filter paper toxicity bioassay and a soil toxicity bioassay, to compare the acute toxicity of twenty-four insecticides belonging to six chemical categories on earthworm species, Eisenia fetida. Results of the contact filter paper toxicity bioassay indicated that neonicotinoids were super toxic to E. fetida (48h-LC₅₀ value ranged from 0.0088 to 0.45μgcm⁻²), pyrethroids were very toxic (48h-LC₅₀ values ranged from 10.55 to 25.7μgcm⁻²) and insect growth regulators (IGRs) were moderately toxic (48h-LC₅₀ values ranged from 117.6 to 564.6μgcm⁻²) to the worms. However, antibiotics, carbamates and organophosphates induced variable toxicity responses in E. fetida, and were very to extremely toxic (48h-LC₅₀ values ranged from 3.64 to 75.75μgcm⁻²). Results of the soil toxicity bioassays showed a different pattern of toxicity except that neonicotinoids were the most toxic even under the soil toxicity bioassay system. The acute toxicity of neonicotinoids was higher than those of antibiotics, carbamates, IGRs and organophosphates. In contrast, pyrethroids were the least toxic to the worms under the soil toxicity bioassay system. It was concluded that irrespective of bioassay systems, earthworms were more susceptible to neonicotinoids than other modern synthetic insecticides.