Main content area

Acute toxicity of 6 neonicotinoid insecticides to freshwater invertebrates

Raby, Melanie, Nowierski, Monica, Perlov, Dmitri, Zhao, Xiaoming, Hao, Chunyan, Poirier, David G., Sibley, Paul K.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2018 v.37 no.5 pp. 1430-1445
Ceriodaphnia dubia, Chironomus dilutus, Daphnia magna, Ephemeroptera, acetamiprid, acute toxicity, aquatic arthropods, aquatic communities, clothianidin, dinotefuran, habitats, imidacloprid, insects, lentic systems, lethal concentration 50, lotic systems, monitoring, mortality, streams, surface water, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam, water solubility, Ontario
Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides commonly used in agriculture. Due to their high water solubility, neonicotinoids can be transported to surface waters and have the potential to be toxic to aquatic life. The present study assessed and compared the acute (48‐ or 96‐h) toxicity of 6 neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) to 21 laboratory‐cultured and field‐collected aquatic invertebrates spanning 10 aquatic arthropod orders. Test conditions mimicked species’ habitat, with lentic taxa exposed under static conditions, and lotic taxa exposed under recirculating systems. Median lethal concentrations (LC50s) and median effect concentrations (EC50s; immobility) were calculated and used to construct separate lethal‐ and immobilization‐derived species sensitivity distributions for each neonicotinoid, from which 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) were calculated. The results showed that the most sensitive invertebrates were insects from the orders Ephemeroptera (Neocloeon triangulifer) and Diptera (Chironomus dilutus), whereas cladocerans (Daphnia magna, Ceriodaphnia dubia) were the least sensitive. The HC5s were compared with neonicotinoid environmental concentrations from Ontario (Canada) monitoring studies. For all neonicotinoids except imidacloprid, the resulting hazard quotients indicated little to no hazard in terms of acute toxicity to aquatic communities in Ontario freshwater streams. For the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, a moderate hazard was found when only invertebrate immobilization, and not lethality, data were considered. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:1430–1445. © 2018 SETAC