Chironomus sancticaroli (Diptera, Chironomidae) as a Sensitive Tropical Test Species in Laboratory Bioassays Evaluating Metals (Copper and Cadmium) and Field Testing

  • Carolina Buso Dornfeld
  • Suzelei RodgherEmail author
  • Rogério Galante Negri
  • Evaldo Luiz Gaeta Espíndola
  • Michiel A. Daam


Despite that chironomids are the most widely used benthic insect test species worldwide, little research has been conducted so far with tropical chironomid representatives. This study was designed to evaluate the indigenous midge Chironomus sancticaroli as a candidate test species for use in tropical toxicity assessments. To this end, laboratory water-only toxicity tests were conducted evaluating copper and cadmium. Obtained lethal concentration values were overall comparable or lower than those reported for other chironomids, including those most commonly used in temperate regions (C. riparius and C. dilutus). In addition, C. sancticaroli was deployed in situ in the Monjolinho River (São Paulo State, Brazil), and toxicity of sediment from this river was evaluated in the laboratory. Several field water and sediment quality parameters also were measured to enable correlating these with the effects observed in these toxicity tests. Field sediment toxicity to C. sancticaroli appeared to be related with sediment endosulfan concentrations, whereas effects noted in the in situ test were likely due to low pH values measured in river water. Chironomus sancticaroli appears to be a suitable candidate for inclusion as a test species in tropical toxicity evaluations in both the laboratory and the field.



The authors are grateful to the Brazilian research support agency CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento Pessoal de Nivel Superior) for the doctoral scholarship given to the second author and to the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP: Process 10494-6/2002) for financial support. This work also was supported by the Brazilian government through the Special Visiting Researcher program (MEC/MCTI/CAPES/CNPq/FAPs reference 402392/2013-2) and the Portuguese government (FCT) through a postdoc grant for the last author (SFRH/BPD/109199/2015) and the research unit UID/AMB/04085/2013 (CENSE).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolina Buso Dornfeld
    • 1
  • Suzelei Rodgher
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rogério Galante Negri
    • 2
  • Evaldo Luiz Gaeta Espíndola
    • 3
  • Michiel A. Daam
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Animal ScienceSão Paulo State University (UNESP)Ilha SolteiraBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of Science and TechnologySão Paulo State University (UNESP)São José dos CamposBrazil
  3. 3.NEEA/CRHEA/SHS, São Carlos Engineering SchoolUniversity of São PauloSão CarlosBrazil
  4. 4.CENSE, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyNew University of LisbonCaparicaPortugal

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