The acute toxicity of fipronil to two non-target invertebrates associated with mosquito breeding sites in Australia

Mark Stevens, Ayesha S Burdett, E Mudford, Stuart Helliwell, Gregory Doran

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Mosquito-borne arboviruses are a significant health issue in the irrigation areas of south-eastern Australia. Fipronil, a pyrazole insecticide with strong activity against larval Culex species, was tested for its acute effects on Simocephalus elizabethae (Daphniidae) and Polypedilum nubiferum (Chironomidae), two non-target invertebrates associated with Australian rice field mosquito habitats. Technical and formulated fipronil were assessed in the presence or absence of particulate artificial diets in 48 h static bioassays. LC50 values for neonate S. elizabethae ranged from 11.13 to 19.12 'g l-1 whilst those for final instar P. nubiferum ranged from 0.89 to 2.18 'g l-1. Feeding during exposure significantly reduced the susceptibility of P. nubiferum to both technical and formulated fipronil. The effect of feeding was less consistent in Simocephalus bioassays, where much less food was present. We investigated whether adsorption to unconsumed food particles may have limited fipronil bioavailability by using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography to measure the available fipronil from fed and unfed systems 24 h after establishment. Differences between the systems were not significant (P > 0.05). The significantly higher LC50 values in the fed Polypedilum bioassays do not appear to be a consequence of reduced fipronil bioavailability. Observed differences in toxicity probably reflect increased stresses associated with food deprivation in the unfed bioassays. Our results support published data on the toxicity of fipronil to aquatic invertebrates which suggest that the use of this material as a mosquito larvicide may cause disruption to aquatic ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalActa Tropica
Issue number2
Early online date2010
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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