The 24-h oral LD50 of methyl parathion (phosphorothioic acid O,O-dimethyl O-(4-nitrophenyl) ester) to little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) (372 mg/kg) was 8.5 times the LD50 for mice (Mus musculus) (44 mg/kg). However, orally dosed mice either died or appeared behaviorally normal after 2 to 3 h, whereas many dosed bats, although alive at 24 h, could not right themselves when placed on their backs. The oral dose estimated to cause this loss of coordination in 50% of a sample of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) was one-third or less the LD50 of this species. Cholinesterase activity depression in brains of little brown bats was similar whether dosage was oral or dermal. With death as the criterion, bats proved relatively insensitive to methyl parathion in 24-h tests, but considerations of the chemical's potential to cause coordination loss, leading to capture and death by predators, coupled with bats' naturally low reproductive rates, suggest possible injury to exposed bat populations.
Additional Publication Details
Toxicity of methyl parathion to bats: Mortality and coordination loss