We examined head capsule cholinesterase (ChE) and foraging behavior in nymphs of the dragonfly, Anax junius, exposed for 24 h to 0.2, 0.6 and 1.0 ??g l-1 of the organophosphorus (OP) insecticide, chlorpyrifos [O,O-diethyl O-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl) phosphorothioate]. The invertebrate community is an important component of the structure and function of wetland ecosystems, yet the potential effects of insecticides on wetland ecosystems are largely unknown. Our objectives were to determine if exposure to environmentally realistic concentrations of chlorpyrifos affected foraging behavior and ChE activity in head capsules of dragonfly nymphs. Nymphs were exposed to different concentrations of chlorpyrifos and different prey densities in a factorial design. ChE activities and foraging behaviors of treated nymphs were not statistically different (p ??? 0.05) from control groups. Prey density effects exerted a greater effect on dragonfly foraging than toxicant exposures. Nymphs offered higher prey densities exhibited more foraging behaviors but also missed their prey more often. High variability in ChE activities within the control group and across treated groups precluded determination of relationships between ChE and foraging behaviors. It appears that A. junius is relatively tolerant of chlorpyrifos, although the concentrations we tested have been shown in other work to adversely affect the prey base; therefore the introduction of this insecticide may have indirect adverse affects on top invertebrate predators such as Odonata.
Additional publication details
The effects of chlorpyrifos on cholinesterase activity and foraging behavior in the dragonfly, Anax junius (Odonata)