Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Biol. 2012 Dec 15;215(Pt 24):4237-41. doi: 10.1242/jeb.074997. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

An effective method for terrestrial arthropod euthanasia.

Author information

  • 1Venomtech Limited, Kent Enterprise Hub, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NJ, Kent, UK.


As scientific understanding of invertebrate life increases, so does the concern for how to end that life in an effective way that minimises (potential) suffering and is also safe for those carrying out the procedure. There is increasing debate on the most appropriate euthanasia methods for invertebrates as their use in experimental research and zoological institutions grows. Their popularity as pet species has also led to an increase in the need for greater veterinary understanding. Through the use of a local injection of potassium chloride (KCl) initially developed for use in American lobsters, this paper describes a safe and effective method for euthanasia in terrestrial invertebrates. Initial work focused on empirically determining the dose for cockroaches, which was then extrapolated to other arthropod species. For this method of euthanasia, we propose the term 'targeted hyperkalosis' to describe death through terminal depolarisation of the thoracic ganglia as a result of high potassium concentration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk