Acute Toxicity and Biological Responses of Clarias gariepinus to Environmentally Realistic Chlorpyrifos Concentrations

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria


In this study, the lethal toxicity, behavioral responses and hematotoxicity of formulated chlorpyrifos on Clarias gariepinus was evaluated. C. gariepinus fingerlings were exposed to 0.2 mg/L, 0.25 mg/L, 0.3 mg/L, 0.35 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L of the active ingredient chlorpyrifos to determine the lethal concentrations and behavioral effects. C. gariepinus juveniles (38.84±7.67g) were then exposed to 0.0256 mg/L and 0.0128 mg/L for 14 days to study somatic indices and haematological effects. The 24h, 48h, 72h and 96h LC50 were estimated as 0.292 (0.210 – 0.376) mg/L, 0.275 (0.252 – 0.297) mg/L, 0.263 (0.242 – 0.282) mg/L, and 0.256 (0.235 – 0.275) mg/L respectively. Hyper activity, loss of equilibrium, erratic swimming, trembling, respiratory distress and poor startle response were observed in fingerlings in response to acute toxic stress of chlorpyrifos. Liver somatic index (LSI) of exposed juveniles increased significantly (p<0.05) compared with control, while there was no statistically significant difference in all the haematological parameters of the exposed fishes compared with the control (p<0.05). The results indicate that the chlorpyrifos formulation was highly toxic and induced behavioral changes in C gariepinus fingerlings, while sub-lethal concentrations induced inflammation in the liver but had no effect on haematological parameters of Clarias gariepinus juveniles. LSI was sensitive to the sub-lethal concentrations and could serve as indicators or exposure to organophosphate insecticides.


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