Netherland Journal of Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 2–4, pp 551–557 | Cite as

Deformities in chironomid larvae as indicators of pollution (pesticide) stress

  • Madden C. P. 
  • P. J. Suter
  • B. C. Nicholson
  • A. D. Austin
Ecotoxicology

Abstract

Chironomid larvae (Chironomus spp.,Dicrotendipes conjunctus andProcladius paludicola) collected from Cox Creek and Aldgate Creek, South Australia, showed morphological abnormalities similar to those reported in other studies elsewhere in the world. The sediment of Cox Creek contained high concentrations of pesticides and there was a significant correlation between the occurrence of mouthpart and antennal deformities in larvae and the concentration of DDT and the herbicide, Dacthal®.

Laboratory experiments were conducted using a culture ofChironomus sp. to determine whether or not a causal relationship existed between exposure to pesticides and the occurrence of deformities in larvae. Results showed a positive relationship between the concentration of DDT and the percentage of deformed mouthparts (menta). The results for the effect of DDT on antennae and those for the effect of Dachthal® were less clear, but generally showed a higher incidence of deformity for treatments compared with controls.

To compare these results to a natural population (i.e. from an unpolluted area) the incidence of deformities was measured for larvae collected from Deep Creek Conservation Park, an area virtually free of pollution. The significance of this work is discussed with regard to its wider application as a useful environmental monitoring technique for freshwater systems.

Keywords

Chironomidae deformities pesticides DDT Australia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. HAMILTON, A.L. and O.A. SAETHER, 1971. The occurrence of characteristic deformities in the chironomid larvae of several Canadian lakes. Can. Entomol., 103: 363–368.Google Scholar
  2. KÖHN, T. and C. FRANK, 1980. Effect of thermal pollution on the chironomid fauna in an urban channel. In D.A. Murray, Ed., Chironomidae: Ecology, Systematics, Cytology and Physiology. Pergamon, Oxford, pp. 187–194.Google Scholar
  3. MARTIN, J., C. KUVANGKADILOK, D.H. PEART and B.T.O. LEE, 1980. Multiple sex determining regions in a group of relatedChironomus species (Diptera: Chironomidae). Heredity, 44: 367–382.Google Scholar
  4. PETTIGROVE, V., 1989. Larval mouthpart deformities inProcladius paludicola Skuse (Diptera: Chironomidae) from the Murray and Darling Rivers, Australia. Hydrobiologia, 179: 111–117.Google Scholar
  5. PINDER, L.C.V., 1986. Biology of freshwater Chironomidae. Ann. Rev. Entomol., 31: 1–23.Google Scholar
  6. SAETHER, O.A., 1979. Chironomid communities as water quality indicators. Holarct. Ecol., 2: 65–74.Google Scholar
  7. THOMA, K., and B.C. NICHOLSON, 1989. Pesticide losses in runoff from a horticultural catchment in South Australia and their relevance to stream and reservoir water quality. Environ. Technol. Lett., 10: 117–129.Google Scholar
  8. WARWICK, W.F., 1985. Morphological abnormalities in Chironomidae (Diptera) larvae as measures of toxic stress in freshwater ecosystems; indexing antennal deformities inChironomus Meigen. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 42: 1881–1914.Google Scholar
  9. WARWICK, W.F., 1988. Morphological deformities in Chironomidae (Diptera) larvae as biological indicators of toxic stress. In: M.S. Evans, Ed., Toxic Contaminants and Ecosystem Health: A Great Lakes Focus. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 281–320.Google Scholar
  10. WARWICK, W.F., 1989. Morphological deformities in larvae ofProcladius Skuse (Diptera: Chironomidae) and their biomonitoring potential. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 46: 1255–1270.Google Scholar
  11. WARWICK, W.F., 1990. Morphological deformities in Chironomidae (Diptera) larvae from the Lac St Louis and Laprairie basins of the St Lawrence River. J. Great Lakes Res., 16: 185–208.Google Scholar
  12. WARWICK, W.F. and N.A. TISDALE, 1988. Morphological deformities inChironomus, Cryptochironomus, andProcladius larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae) from two differentially stressed sites in Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 45: 1123–1144.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Netherlands Hydrobiological Society 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madden C. P. 
    • 1
  • P. J. Suter
    • 2
  • B. C. Nicholson
    • 2
  • A. D. Austin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Crop ProtectionUniversity of Adelaide
  2. 2.State Water Laboratory, Engineering and Water Supply DepartmentPMB Salisbury Post OfficeSalisbury

Personalised recommendations