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Environ Pollut. 2003;125(2):295-9.

Effects of fenoxycarb exposure on complete larval development of the xanthid crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii.

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  • 1US Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561-5299, USA. cripe.geraldine@epa.gov


Pest control agents, such as juvenile hormone analogues (JHA), have been developed to limit effects on non-target organisms that co-inhabit insect pest habitats. Rhithropanopeus harrisii, an estuarine xanthid crab, was used to observe the impacts of the JHA, fenoxycarb, on the pattern of complete larval development as well as survival of larvae and successful metamorphosis to first crab stage. Significant mortality occurred in the first of four zoeal stages (after 2-3 days of exposure) at the highest treatment of 240 microg fenoxycarb/l and in megalopae exposed to 48 microg fenoxycarb/l. The time required to metamorphose to the first crab stage was significantly increased for megalopae in all treatments 48 microg/l. This delay in development was sufficient to significantly prolong the entire developmental period from zoea to crabs. Unexposed larvae developed to crabs in an average of 16 days; larvae exposed to >/=48 microg/l required 19-20 days. Reduced survival and extended duration of developing larval stages in the life history of a benthic invertebrate may alter the population dynamics of these organisms in the estuary.

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