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The dietary toxicities of (E)-phosphoric acid 3-(dimethylamino)-1-methyl-3-oxo-1-propenyl dimethyl ester (dicrotophos) and 3,4,5,6,9,9-hexachloro-1a,2,2a,3,6,6a,7,7a-octahydro-2,7:3,6-dimethanonaphth[2,3-b]oxirene (dieldrin) to 10-day-old ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) and 5-day-old mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were compared in five time-replicated trials. Toxicities were calculated as median lethal concentrations (LC50s) based on 5 days of ad libitum feeding on geometrically spaced concentrations of toxicant. The LC50s were more uniform for dieldrin than for dicrotophos with both species and more uniform for pheasants than for mallards with both compounds. The LC50s of dieldrin and dicrotophos averaged 59 [standard deviation (SD) = 4.4] and 45 ppm (SD = 5.0) for pheasants, and 156 (SD = 24.9) and 102 ppm (SD = 24.9) for mallards. Changes in LC50s between successive trials, although possibly haphazard, were nearly always in the same direction for both compounds with both species. Feeding rates at various concentrations of equivalent potency gave meaningful insight into the sensitivity and vulnerability of both species to these insecticides. Comparisons of 5 and 10-day-old mallards demonstrated the importance of age differences to interpretation of short-term subacute toxicity data. For example, at 5 days dicrotophos was 1.5 times more toxic than dieldrin, but at 10 days dieldrin was 2.6 times more toxic. These differences are explained.
wildlife, mallard, ring-necked pheasant, dicrotophos, dieldrin, toxicity, LC, 50, dietary exposure, toxicology
Research physiologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Physiology and Toxicology Project, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Md.