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Sublethal effects of the parasiticide ivermectin on male and female reproductive and behavioural traits in the yellow dung fly


van Koppenhagen, Nicola; Gourgoulianni, Natalia; Rohner, Patrick T; Roy, Jeannine; Wegmann, Alexandra; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U (2020). Sublethal effects of the parasiticide ivermectin on male and female reproductive and behavioural traits in the yellow dung fly. Chemosphere, 242:125240.

Abstract

The veterinary pharmaceutical ivermectin is commonly used against parasites of livestock. Excreted in dung it can have lethal and sublethal effects on non-target organisms developing in and living around cattle dung. Research in this realm typically investigates the impact of pharmaceuticals on dung-feeding insects by looking at juvenile development and survival, while fitness effects of adult exposure are largely neglected. We conducted laboratory experiments to assess combined effects of ivermectin on life history and reproductive traits of juvenile and adult yellow dung flies (Scathophaga stercoraria). Two treatments (12 and 24 μg ivermectin/kg wet dung) were used for the larvae reared in dung, and one much higher concentration (3000 μg ivermectin/kg sugar) for the adult flies (in addition to uncontaminated controls). Juvenile ivermectin exposure lead to smaller body size of male and female flies. Adult feeding on ivermectin-contaminated dung additionally resulted in adult male flies with smaller testes (and likely fewer sperm) that experienced reduced mating durations, resulting in lower probability of producing offspring. Exposure of adult flies to ivermectin lowered offspring production and survival for both sexes. Thus, treatment of livestock with pharmaceuticals such as ivermectin appears to have even more far-reaching sublethal ecological consequences than previously assumed by affecting not only flies at their larval stage but also adult mating behaviour and reproduction.

Abstract

The veterinary pharmaceutical ivermectin is commonly used against parasites of livestock. Excreted in dung it can have lethal and sublethal effects on non-target organisms developing in and living around cattle dung. Research in this realm typically investigates the impact of pharmaceuticals on dung-feeding insects by looking at juvenile development and survival, while fitness effects of adult exposure are largely neglected. We conducted laboratory experiments to assess combined effects of ivermectin on life history and reproductive traits of juvenile and adult yellow dung flies (Scathophaga stercoraria). Two treatments (12 and 24 μg ivermectin/kg wet dung) were used for the larvae reared in dung, and one much higher concentration (3000 μg ivermectin/kg sugar) for the adult flies (in addition to uncontaminated controls). Juvenile ivermectin exposure lead to smaller body size of male and female flies. Adult feeding on ivermectin-contaminated dung additionally resulted in adult male flies with smaller testes (and likely fewer sperm) that experienced reduced mating durations, resulting in lower probability of producing offspring. Exposure of adult flies to ivermectin lowered offspring production and survival for both sexes. Thus, treatment of livestock with pharmaceuticals such as ivermectin appears to have even more far-reaching sublethal ecological consequences than previously assumed by affecting not only flies at their larval stage but also adult mating behaviour and reproduction.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Engineering
Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Pollution
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 March 2020
Deposited On:24 Feb 2020 12:17
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 14:28
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0045-6535
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125240

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