Date: 05 Oct 2007

Acute Toxicity of Aqueous Copper, Cadmium, and Zinc to the Mayfly Rhithrogena hageni

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Abstract

Heptageniid mayfly nymphs have been suggested as sensitive indicators of metal contamination in streams based on biomonitoring studies, experimentation in situ, and experimentation in microcosm. Laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate the sensitivity of Rhithrogena hageni, a heptageniid mayfly, to waterborne copper, cadmium, and zinc. Tests were conducted with soft water (hardness = 40–50 mg/L) at about 12°C. Toxicity endpoints were survival and moulting (%/day). Median 96 hr lethal concentrations were 0.137, 10.5, and 50.5 mg/L for copper, cadmium and zinc, respectively. The average daily moulting rate of survivors significantly decreased after exposure to these metals in solution.