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The Toxicity of Malathion to Killifish (Cyprinodontidae) in Delaware1

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A series of field tests was performed to ascertain the extent of malathion toxicity to killifish (Family Cyprinodontidae) inhabiting tidal marshes in Delaware. The technique involved placing 25 fish in metal tubs containing 7 gallons of habitat water. Each treated tub had an untreated control. In all, 304 killifish of the species Fundulus ocellaris Jordan and Gilbert were tested. Sprays were delivered by aerial application to simulate practical mosquito control procedure. Malathion was applied at 0.5 pound per acre. The fish were exposed to the oil solution for 4 hours, after which time they were examined and classed into normal, moribund, and dead. Five tests were performed; in the last three, the moribund individuals were placed in a recovery tub of fresh habitat water and inspected 20 and 64 hours later. According to the 4-hour results, 26.3% died and 31.2% Were unaffected whereas 42.4% were sublethally poisoned. In four replicates the fate of the moribund fish was followed for 64 hours after treatment. Of these, 66% recovered while 26% died. Only R% still were exhibiting symptoms at the end of the tests. There was no correlation between size of the fish and mortality.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1959

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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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