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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 Aug;142:522-529. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.04.056. Epub 2017 May 4.

Impact of agrochemicals on non-target species: Calathus fuscipes Goeze 1777 (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as model.

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Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy.
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.


Carabid beetles are important in the biological control of arable crop pests. Agricultural practices can produce over time a delayed toxic effect at the organismal and population levels and can compromise the survival on these species. In this research, we quantified the cumulative sublethal effect on body size, Malpighian tubules and immune responses in Calathus fuscipes adults living in the potato field and exposed to lambda-cyhalothrin and cymoxanil-based commercial formulates. Reductions of morphological parameters such as body, pronotum and elytron in both males and females from the potato field indicated that the pre-imaginal stages (larvae and pupae) suffer the sublethal effects of exposure to the larvicide control action of lambda-cyhalothrin. Ultrastructural alterations recorded in Malpighian tubules at the level of plasma membrane, mitochondria and nucleus indicated the reduction of the detoxification capability. The basal phenoloxidase and lysozyme-like enzyme activities have measured as markers of immune competence. Spectrophometric analyses showed that the chronic exposure in field causes an increase of basal phenoloxidase enzyme activity, while the lytic activity of haemolymph was not affected. As a result, the use of larvicides and fungicides have a harmful effect on beneficial species such C. fuscipes living in the soil of potato fields. These morphological and physiological results recorded at the organismal level can provide useful information of effects at the population and community levels to preserve the biodiversity of agroecosystem.


Fungicides; Immune system; Malpighian tubules; Morphometry; Pesticides

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