Early Life History of Fishes in the San Francisco Estuary and Watershed

Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Esfenvalerate and Diazinon on Splittail Larvae

Swee J. Teh, Guo H. Zang, Tom Kimball, and Foo C. Teh

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569599.ch16

Abstract.—Runoff from dormant spray applications to orchards can contain the insecticides diazinon and esfenvalerate, which may affect the health of the threatened splittail Pogonichthys macrolepidotus. To examine the potential effects of these two insecticides, splittail larvae were exposed to diazinon, esfenvalerate, and a mixture of the two insecticides in static renewal 96-h acute toxicity tests. Surviving fish were transferred to clean water for an additional 14 d (18 d total). Mortality, morphological anomalies, histopathology, and growth determinations were made to assess lethal and sublethal effects. The combination of diazinon and esfenvalerate produced less than additive (independent) toxicity. Diazinon (singly and in combination with esfenvalerate) produced latent toxicity after the 96-h exposure, as demonstrated by reduced growth and increased spinal deformities. Metabolic dysfunction in the liver and inflammation of the pancreas were likely related to slower growth of diazinon-exposed fish. These symptoms were almost absent from esfenvalerate-exposed fish. The use of 14-d EC50 values and the measurement of biomarkers may more accurately describe the effects of 96-h shortterm exposure to these insecticides than traditional 96-h LC50 values.