Evaluation of the acute toxicity of mahua oil cake aqueous extract and its effect on the behavioral responses of the freshwater grapsid crab, Varuna litterata (Fabricius, 1798)

  • Mintu Deyashi
  • Kamales Kumar Misra
  • Suman Bhusan ChakrabortyEmail author
Research Article


Mortality and behavioral alterations are monitored as the sensitive endpoints in toxicological studies and may be applied as useful biomarkers to assess piscicidal pollution in aquatic environment. Present study assesses acute toxicity of the piscicide, mahua oil cake (MOC), and its effect on the behavioral responses of the freshwater grapsid crab, Varuna litterata, under laboratory conditions. To determine the LC50 values, a 4-day acute static renewal toxicity test was done where 10 adult male crabs (mean length 2.870 ± 0.379 cm; mean weight 9.891 ± 3.951 g) were exposed to different concentrations (1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 ppt) of MOC aqueous extract with a control at different exposure periods. The LC50 values are 19.109 ppt for 24 h, 16.052 ppt for 48 h, 11.827 ppt for 72 h, and 7.631 ppt for 96 h. The high LC50 values indicate less sensitivity of this crab to the MOC extract than other aquatic animals. MOC extract has toxic effect on the mouthparts activity, whirling motion of water current producing activity, froth releasing activity, aggregation, balance and coordination actions, medium escaping behavior, locomotor activity, and fecal matter excretion of this crab in different exposure periods. Behavioral responses such as froth releasing activity, aggregation, and medium escaping behavior can be used as biomarkers of MOC pollution in aquatic environment.


Mahua oil cake Grapsid crab Varuna litterata LC50 Behavioral responses Biomarkers 



First author is thankful to the fisherman, Sri Rabin Das, and his family for providing information about the freshwater grapsid crab, V. litterata, and necessary help during the investigation. Thanks are also given to the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, for identifying the crab species.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4930_Fig3_ESM.png (435 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1

Normal distribution pattern and arrangement of crabs in control group. (PNG 435 kb)

11356_2019_4930_MOESM1_ESM.tif (958 kb)
High Resolution Image (TIF 957 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyDr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Govt. CollegeKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyAsutosh CollegeKolkataIndia

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