Marine Biology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 253–258 | Cite as

Uptake and loss of radioactive cadmium by the sea-skater Halobates robustus (Heteroptera: Gerridae)

  • M. Schulz-Baldes
  • L. Cheng


Sea-skaters, Halobates robustus Barber, caught around the Galápagos Islands, were exposed over a period of 3 days to radioactive cadmium dissolved in seawater. Although 115mCd (metastable 115Cd) was accumulated by the insects, they did not concentrate it above the seawater level. The experiments clearly showed that cadmium is taken up into the body, not merely adsorbed onto surfaces. The uptake of Cd followed a biphasic time course. When sea-skaters labelled in this way were transferred back into unlabelled seawater, the rate of loss of Cd was likewise biphasic. During uptake and loss, the biological half-life times for the first compartments were almost identical (0.64 and 0.79 h), indicating that the same compartment might be involved. On the other hand, the biological half-life times for the second compartments were different (1.7 days during uptake, 19.5 days during loss), indicating that the site or chemical form of bound Cd in the sea-skater had changed. For an adult female, weighing about 8.5 mg wet weight, the drinking rate of seawater was estimated at 2.5 μl day-1, equivalent to 29% body weight.


Body Weight Cadmium Adult Female Chemical Form Drinking Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Schulz-Baldes
    • 1
  • L. Cheng
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Meeresforschung BremerhavenBremerhavenGermany (FRG)
  2. 2.Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

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