Effects of the Pyrethroid Esfenvalerate on the Oligochaete, Lumbriculus variegatus

  • R. Rosa
  • M. D. Bordalo
  • A. M. V. M. Soares
  • J. L. T. Pestana


Esfenvalerate is a neurotoxic pyrethroid insecticide widely used for agricultural and residential purposes and is considered toxic to nontarget organisms such as fish and aquatic invertebrates. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity of esfenvalerate on the aquatic oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus. In the acute test, organisms showed visible signs of stress but no LC50 value could be determined. In the 28-day chronic test, a significant decrease in reproduction was observed with a NOEC value of 0.25 µg/kg and a LOEC value of 2.34 µg/kg. As for biomass per worm, a significant decrease was also observed with a NOEC value of 2.34 µg/kg and a LOEC value of 36.36 µg/kg. Reproductive impairment and reductions in biomass of L. variegatus exposed to environmentally realistic concentrations of esfenvalerate observed in laboratory tests suggests potential deleterious effects of this pyrethroid on oligochaete natural populations.


Insecticides Ecotoxicity Sublethal effects Freshwater invertebrates 



This study was supported by COMPETE program (Programa Operacional Fatores de Competitividade, FEDER component) and by National funding through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within the research project IDEAL – “Insecticides, DEtritivores and ALiens: Combined effects of invasive species and insecticides along detritus based stream food webs”, Ref: FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-019380 (Ref. FCT: PTDC/AAC-AMB/119433/2010), FCT and POPH/FSE (Programa Operacional Potencial Humano/Fundo Social Europeu) for the post-doctoral fellowships of J. L. T. Pestana (SFRH/BPD/45342/2008) and M. D. Bordalo (SFRH/BPD/94494/2013).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Rosa
    • 1
  • M. D. Bordalo
    • 1
  • A. M. V. M. Soares
    • 1
  • J. L. T. Pestana
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia, CESAMUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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