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Change in Toxicity of Rotenone in Solution and Suspension

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Rotenone has been found to decompose at various rates when allowed to stand in solution in certain solvents, the decomposition being evidenced by development of a yellow color and in some cases by separation of certain of the yellow decomposition materials in crystalline form. This change is accompanied by a loss in toxicity to insects as shown by entomological tests made with aqueous suspensions prepared from these solutions. The loss in toxicity occurs most rapidly in pyridine, less rapidly in acetone containing tannic acid and is imperceptible in both acetone and alcohol. The yellow decomposition products separating from pyridine solutions were found to have much less insecticidal activity than pure rotenone.

The aqueous suspensions prepared from acetone and alcohol solutions of rotenone showed only a slight loss in toxicity on standing. Dry rotenone shows no decomposition or loss in toxicity.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1931

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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