We conducted a series of toxicological treatments with 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and a TFM:1% 2′,5-dichloro-4′-nitrosalicylanilide (niclosamide) mixture, two compounds used to control larval sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in Great Lakes tributaries, to evaluate the acute toxicity of the lampricides to a number of nontarget species of concern. Treatments were conducted with yellow stage American eel (Anguilla rostrata), adult and larval haliplid water beetles (Haliplus spp.), a surrogate for the endangered Hungerford’s crawling water beetle (Brychius hungerfordi), and adults of three unionid species—giant floater (Pyganadon grandis), fragile papershell (Leptodea fragilis), and pink heelsplitter (Potamilus alatus). Treatments were conducted using a serial dilution system consisting of nine test concentrations and an untreated control with 20% dilution between concentrations. Narcosis was evident among giant floaters exposed to the TFM and the TFM:1% niclosamide mixture and among pink heelsplitters exposed to the TFM:1% niclosamide mixture only but mostly at concentrations greater than 2-fold that required to kill 100% of larval sea lamprey (minimum lethal concentration (MLC)). Tests with the haliplid beetle suggest the risks to the Hungerford’s crawling water beetle associated with TFM applications are minimal. Concentrations over 2-fold the sea lamprey MLC did not kill adult or larval water beetles. Preliminary behavioral observations suggest water beetles may avoid treatment by crawling out of the water. Adult water beetles exposed to TFM at 3-fold the sea lamprey MLC were observed above the water line more often than controls. The lampricide TFM was not acutely toxic to American eel. Mortalities were rare among American eel exposed to TFM concentrations up to 7-fold the observed sea lamprey MLC. Similarly, for the TFM:1% niclosamide mixture, mortalities were rare among American eel exposed to nearly 5-fold the observed sea lamprey MLC. Overall, acute TFM toxicity was not evident among any of the species examined in this study at concentrations targeted to control larval sea lamprey. Results for the adult unionids should be viewed with caution due to the lack of replication in the treatments.
Additional publication details
Acute toxicity of two lampricides, 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and a TFM: 1% niclosamide mixture, to sea lamprey, three species of unionids, haliplid water beetles, and American eel