Marine Biology

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 121–126 | Cite as

Toxicity of cupric lon to eggs of the spot Leiostomus xanthurus and the Atlantic silverside Menidia menidia

  • D. W. Engel
  • W. G. Sunda


Experiments were conducted to determine the toxicity of free cupric ion to the eggs of two marine fish: the spot Leiostomus xanthurus, and the Atlantic silverside Menidia menidia. A cupric ion buffer consisting of 5 mM of the chelator, trishydroxymethylamino methane (Tris), and varied concentrations of CuSO4 was employed to achieve stable cupric ion activities in experimental seawater media. Egg hatch of the silverside appears to be more sensitive to cupric ion than that of the spot. The silverside had 60% inhibition of hatch at a pCu (negative logarithum of cupric ion activity) of 9.4 with complete supporession of hatching at pCu values below 8.2, while the spot had 50% inhibition at a pCu of 9.0 and complete suppression at a pCu of 8.0. Cupric ion was most toxic to the eggs of silverside at or around the time of hatching, whereas a pronounced sensitivity at hatching was not apparent with the eggs of spot. Calculated estimates of the range of cupric ion activity in seawater indicate that natural activity levels may in some instances inhibit the hatching of silverside and spot eggs.


Methane Toxicity CuSO4 Marine Fish Complete Suppression 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. W. Engel
    • 1
  • W. G. Sunda
    • 1
  1. 1.Southeast Fisheries Center, Beaufort LaboratoryNational Marine Fisheries ServiceBeaufortUSA

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