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Effects of the biopesticide Zequanox® on reproduction and early development of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

March 30, 2017

The biopesticide, Zequanox®, is registered for dreissenid mussel control in open water systems in the United States. Previous toxicity trials with nontarget organisms, including several young-of-the-year fish species and invertebrates, demonstrated selectivity of Zequanox for dreissenid mussels, but data are lacking on the treatment-related effects on reproduction and early life stage development of fish. The present study evaluated the effects of Zequanox on spawning and early life stages of the fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas, after exposure to the maximum approved concentration [100 mg active ingredient (AI)/L] and exposure duration (8h) for open water application. The results showed no significant treatment-related effect of Zequanox on survival, condition, or cumulative egg production (21 d) in adult fathead minnow. Eggs (≤24 h old) exposed to Zequanox developed to the eyed-stage at a similar rate to that of untreated eggs. Additionally, Zequanox did not have a significant effect on survival and growth (90 d) of newly hatched larvae (≤24-h old). Zequanox may be an option for control of dreissenid mussels in localized open water habitats where concerns exist regarding reproduction and recruitment of cyprinids and related species.