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Persistence and Biological Effects of Parathion Residues in Waterfowl Habitats1,2

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Parathion sprays were applied at the rates of 1.0 and 0.1 lb per acre to a duck pond and a borrow pit, respectively. The former was treated once; the latter was treated 6 times at weekly intervals to simulate an actual treatment scheme for mosquito control in California. The fate and effect of resulting parathion residues were studied.

In the duck pond, 1.0 lb per acre of parathion had no obvious adverse effects on pinioned adult mallards or caged juveniles of Rana catesbeiana Shaw. Considerable mortality was caused among caged mosquito fish, Gam- busia affinis (Baird and Girard), but a few free-swimming mosquito fish survived. Within 5-6 weeks after treatment, mosquito fish were again abundant in the pond.

Water samples initially contained 0.40-0.51 ppm of parathion, which decreased to 0.01 ppm 8 days after treatment, and approached 0.003 ppm 14 days after treatment. Parathion residues were in the top 2 inches of mud 4 hours to 22 days after treatment, but never exceeded 0.03 ppm. Mud below 2 inches showed no residues. Mean residues of parathion in or on submerged portions of water- grass ranged from 0.5 ppm after 4 hours to 0.2 ppm after 2 days. Some cholinesterase-inhibiting residues were in or on submerged portions of watergrass up to 14 days after treatment. Emergent portions of smartweed contained parathion ranging up to 29 ppm, but these rapidly disappeared. High residues of parathion were found in mosquito fish and it is suggested that these fish pick up parathion; residues apparently disappeared quickly from the fish.

In the borrow pit, parathion on emergent portions of Water grass ranged from 0.3 to 5.0 ppm but decreased quickly. Residues found in hornwort, a submergent plant, ranged from a trace to 1.7 ppm. Water in the borrow pit contained 0.01-0.02 ppm the first week but only 1 mud sample showed detectable parathion residues. Free- swimming mosquito fish contained up to 22 ppm, but no mortality was observed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1966

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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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