Behavioural responses of freshwater planarians after short-term exposure to the insecticide chlorantraniliprole

Published: 10-31-2015 In Publication




Recent advances in video tracking technologies provide the tools for a sensitive and reproducible analysis of invertebrate activity under stressful conditions nurturing the field of behavioural ecotoxicology. This study aimed to evaluate behavioural responses of the freshwater planarian Dugesia subtentaculata exposed to a model compound, chlorantraniliprole (CAP). This compound is an anthranilic diamide insecticide and due to its neurotoxic action can, at low concentrations, impair behaviour of exposed organisms. Behavioural endpoints measured included feeding and locomotor activities. Feeding responses were based on planarian predatory behaviour using Chironomus ripariuslarvae as prey. Locomotion was measured by the traditional planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) assay and additionally using an automated video tracking system using a Zebrabox® (Viewpoint, France) device. While feeding and pLMV were significantly impaired at 131.7 μg/L CAP, the video tracking system showed that total distance covered by planarians was significantly reduced at concentrations as low as 26.2 μg/L CAP. Our results show that more advanced automated video recording systems can be used in the development of sensitive bioassays allowing a reliable, time- and cost-effective quantification of behaviour in aquatic invertebrates. Due to their ecological relevance, behavioural responses should not be disregarded in risk assessment strategies and we advocate the suitability of planarians as suitable organisms for behavioural ecotoxicological studies.