African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) embryos and tadpoles were exposed to sublethal levels of carbaryl, a broad-spectrum insecticide, and ultraviolet radiation to determine interactive and sublethal effects. Ultraviolet intensity (UV-B [285-320 nm] plus LIV-A [321-400 nm]) was controlled with various types of plastic filters and quantified with a scanning spectroradiometer. Significant differences in swimming activity and mortality of both species were evident during the 96-h experiments. Ultraviolet-B radiation alone and carbaryl in the presence of UV-B significantly decreased swimming activity of both species. As little as 1.5% intensity of ambient solar UV-B radiation photoactivated carbaryl. Toxicity of 7.5 mg/L earbaryl increased by 10-fold in the presence of UV-B in all species and life stages tested. Our results indicate that photoenhancement by solar UV-B radiation should be considered when evaluating the toxicity of contaminants to amphibians and other organisms.
Additional publication details
Photoenhanced toxicity of a carbamate insecticide to early life stage anuran amphibians