Main content area

Female masculinization and reproductive success in Cnesterodon decemmaculatus (Jenyns, 1842) (Cyprinodontiforme: Poeciliidae) under anthropogenic impact

Vidal, Nicolás, Loureiro, Marcelo, Hued, Andrea Cecilia, Eguren, Gabriela, de Mello, Franco Teixeira
Ecotoxicology 2018 v.27 no.10 pp. 1331-1340
Cnesterodon decemmaculatus, adults, anthropogenic activities, aquatic organisms, basins, bioassays, chemical compounds, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, females, fins, humans, indicator species, laboratory experimentation, males, masculinization, mating behavior, pollution, progeny, reproductive success, reproductive system, wildlife
Aquatic organisms are exposed to a myriad of chemical compounds, with particular concerns focused on endocrine disruptors. Growing scientific evidence indicates that these compounds interfere with normal endocrine function and could affect the reproductive system of humans and wildlife. We analyzed the proportion of masculinized females, defined by elongation and fusion of the anal fin rays, and the extent of masculinization, masculinization index, defined by anal fin length divided by the standard length, of Cnesterodon decemmaculatus resident to areas of agricultural and urban-industrial activities in the Arroyo Colorado basin. Additionally, a bioassay was carried out to assess the potential effects of masculinization on reproductive success, measured as the number of viable progenies, using pregnant females from the site downstream of the urban–industrial zone. Masculinized females were observed in all sampling sites, particularly downstream of the urban–industrial area, where over 80% of females presented abnormal sexual characteristics and the highest masculinization index was registered. In the laboratory, masculinized adult females showed male mating behavior, and survival of their progeny was lower than those of normal females. To our knowledge, this is the first report of endocrine disruption in field-collected C. decemmaculatus, and the first evaluation of the reproductive success of masculinized females. Finally, our results support C. decemmaculatus as an excellent sentinel species due to its wide distribution, easy culture in laboratory conditions, and its potential capability to respond to sources of pollution, particularly endocrine disruptors.