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Field and Experimental Morphological Response of Chironomus Larvae (Diptera, Nematocera) To Xylene and Toluene

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The morphological response of Chironomus gr. thummi larvae after a spill of xylene (10000 1) and toluene (7500 1) in a brook was investigated. At the site of the spill, the proportion of larvae with mentum and antennal deformities increased in the following months. Downstream (500 m), no such clear response could be discerned. Mandible deformities occurred as well, but the fluctuations could not be related to the pulse pollution. Fugacity and concentration models predict a higher affinity of xylene to sediments and biota. Therefore, a short term 72 h exposure test with xylene (0, 10, 100, 1000 μl/l) was performed on early instar larvae. Fourth instar larvae with a split medial mentum tooth represented 15% of the surviving population (mortality was 44%) at a concentration of 10 μl/l xylene.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Ecology and Aquaculture, Catholic University of Leuven, Naamsestraat 59, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; 2: Vlaamse Milieu Maatschappij, Buitendienst Gent, Maaltecenter Blok E, Derbystraat 135, 9051 St.-Denijs Westrem, Belgium


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