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Acute toxicity and clotting times of anticoagulant rodenticides to red-toothed (Odonus niger) and black (Melichthys niger) triggerfish, fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)

February 1, 2020

Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) areused in rateradication efforts on island wildlife refuges. ARbait pellets can get into coralreefareasduring broadcasting and leadto exposure ofnon-target organisms, such as marine fishes. The objective of this study was to determine the sensitivity of representative saltwater fishes, Red-toothed triggerfish (Odonus niger) and Black triggerfish (Melichthys niger), and common freshwater fishes, fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) to first generation ARs, diphacinone (DPN) and chlorophacinone (CPN), as well as a second-generation AR, brodifacoum (BROD). Acute toxicity of ARs was evaluated by single dose, intraperitoneal injections. The median lethal dose (LD50) ranges were 137−175μg DPN/g, 155−182μg CPN/g, and 36−48μg BROD/g for Red-toothed triggerfish and 90−122μg DPN/g, 125−164μg CPN/g, and 50−75μg BROD/g for black triggerfish. Laboratory surrogate test fish species fathead minnow and largemouth bass were of similar sensitivity toward AR-induced toxicity compared to triggerfish based on LD50 values. Sublethal effects on elevated clotting time occurred in dose-dependent fashion in all fish tested. Fish appear to have low sensitivity to AR chemicals as compared to other taxa, in particular mammals and birds, based on across-taxa comparisons of species sensitivity distributions of whole body, single dose acute lethality (LD50 values). The sensitivity of fish to waterborne exposures of ARs has yet to be fully evaluated and indeed may prove more hazardous to fish.