Full-life chronic toxicity of sodium salts to the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer in tests with laboratory cultured food

David J. Soucek, Amy Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although insects occur in nearly all freshwater ecosystems, few sensitive insect models exist for use in determining the toxicity of contaminants. The objectives of the present study were to adapt previously developed culturing and toxicity testing methods for the mayfly Neocloeon triangulifer (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae), and to further develop a method for chronic toxicity tests spanning organism ages of less than 24h post hatch to adult emergence, using a laboratory cultured diatom diet. The authors conducted 96-h fed acute tests and full-life chronic toxicity tests with sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, and sodium sulfate. The authors generated 96-h median lethal concentrations (LC50s) of 1062mgCl/L (mean of 3 tests), 179mg N-NO3/L, and 1227mg SO4/L. Acute to chronic ratios ranged from 2.1 to 6.4 for chloride, 2.5 to 5.1 for nitrate, and 2.3 to 8.5 for sulfate. The endpoints related to survival and development time were consistently the most sensitive in the tests. The chronic values generated for chloride were in the same range as those generated by others using natural foods. Furthermore, our weight-versus-fecundity plots were similar to those previously published using the food culturing method on which the present authors' method was based, indicating good potential for standardization. The authors believe that the continued use of this sensitive mayfly species in laboratory studies will help to close the gap in understanding between standard laboratory toxicity test results and field-based observations of community impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2126-2137
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Chronic toxicity
  • Major ions
  • Mayfly
  • Toxicity testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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