Effects of insecticides, fipronil and imidacloprid, on the growth, survival, and behavior of brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Increased use of pesticide is causing detrimental effects on non-target species worldwide. In this study, we examined the lethal and sub-lethal effects of fipronil and imidacloprid, two commonly used insecticides, on juvenile brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), one of the most commercially and ecologically important species in the United States. The effects of six concentrations of fipronil (0.0, 0.005, 0.01, 0.1, 1.0, and 3.0 g/L) and six concentrations of imidacloprid (0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 15.0, 34.5, 320.0 g/L) were tested in a laboratory. We examined five different endpoints: growth, moulting interval, survivorship, behavioral change, and body color change. Growth of shrimp was reduced significantly under higher concentrations of both insecticides. Under fipronil exposure, shrimp in control showed the shortest inter-moult interval (7.57 2.17 day) compared with other treatments; similarly, in the imidacloprid experiment, moulting increased from 8.43 2.52 day in control to 11.95 4.9 day in 0.5 g/L treatment. Higher concentrations of fipronil (1.0 and 3.0 g/L) showed a 0.0% survival rate compared with 100% survival in the control and 0.005 g/L treatment. Under imidacloprid, survivorship decreased from 100% in the control to 33.33% in the 320.0 g/L treatment. The 96-h LC50 of fipronil was 0.12 g/L, which makes brown shrimp one of the most sensitive invertebrates to the pesticide. Changes in behavior and body color were observed under both insecticides after different durations of exposures depending on concentrations. We conclude that, at the corresponding EPA benchmark concentrations, fipronil had more lethal effects than imidacloprid, and imidacloprid had more sub-lethal effects than fipronil. Both effects are of serious concern, and we suggest monitoring is necessary in estuaries.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

author list (cited authors)

  • Al-Badran, A. A., Fujiwara, M., & Mora, M. A.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Al-Badran, Ali Abdulameer||Fujiwara, Masami||Mora, Miguel A

editor list (cited editors)

  • Karunasagar, I.

publication date

  • January 2019