Sensitivity of Ethiopian aquatic macroinvertebrates to the pesticides endosulfan and diazinon, compared to literature data

Berhan M. Teklu, Negussie Retta, Paul J. van den Brink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of the present study were to present a methodology for toxicity tests that can be used when analytical resources to verify the test concentrations are limited, and to evaluate whether the sensitivity of a limited number of Ethiopian species to pesticides differs from literature values for, mainly, temperate species. Acute toxicity tests were performed using three Ethiopian aquatic invertebrate species, one crustacean (Diaphanosoma brachyurum) and two insects (Anopheles pharoensis and Culex pipiens) and using the pesticides endosulfan and diazinon. All species–pesticide combinations were tested in duplicate to estimate the consistency, i.e. the intra-laboratory variation, in test results. Daphnia magna was tested as well to allow the test results to be compared directly with values from the literature. Results indicate that the differences between the EC50s obtained for D. magna in this study and those reported in the literature were less than a factor of 2. This indicates that the methodology used is able to provide credible toxicity values. The results of the duplicated tests showed intra-laboratory variation in EC50 values of up to a factor of 3, with one test showing a difference of a factor of 6 at 48 h. Comparison with available literature results for arthropod species using species sensitivity distributions indicated that the test results obtained in this study fit well in the log-normal distribution of the literature values. We conclude that the methodology of performing multiple tests to check for consistency of test results and performing tests with D. magna for comparison with literature values to check for accuracy is able to provide reliable effect threshold levels and that the tested Ethiopian species did not differ in sensitivity from the arthropod species reported on in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016


  • Africa
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Single-species toxicity tests
  • Species sensitivity distribution
  • Tropics


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