Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Effects of CFT Legumine (5% rotenone) on tadpole survival and metamorphosis of Chiricahua leopard frogs Lithobates chiricahuensis, northern leopard frogs L. pipiens, and American bullfrogs L. catesbeianus.

Abstract

Amphibians may experience collateral effects if exposed to CFT Legumine (5% rotenone), a piscicide that is used to remove invasive fish. A series of 48-h static toxicity tests assessed the acute effects of CFT Legumine on multi-aged tadpoles of the federally listed Chiricahua leopard frog Lithobates chiricahuensis, the widespread northern leopard frog L. pipiens, and the increasingly invasive American bullfrog L. catesbeianus. At the earliest Gosner stages (GS 21-25), Chiricahua leopard frogs were more sensitive to CFT Legumine (median lethal concentration [LC50]=0.41-0.58 mg/L) than American bullfrogs (LC50=0.63-0.69 mg/L) and northern leopard frogs (LC50=0.91 and 1.17 mg/L). As tadpoles developed (i.e., increase in GS), their sensitivity to rotenone decreased. In a separate series of 48-h static nonrenewal toxicity tests, tadpoles (GS 21-25 and GS 31-36) of all three species were exposed to piscicidal concentrations of CFT Legumine (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg/L) to assess postexposure effects on metamorphosis. In survivors of all three species at both life stages, the time to tail resorption was nearly doubled in comparison with that of controls. For example, mid-age (GS 31-36) Chiricahua leopard frog tadpoles required 210.7 h to complete tail resorption, whereas controls required 108.5 h. However, because tail resorption is a relatively short period in metamorphosis, the total duration of development (days from posthatch to complete metamorphosis) and the final weight did not differ in either age-group surviving nominal concentrations of 0.5-, 1.0-, and 2.0-mg/L CFT Legumine relative to controls. This research demonstrates that the CFT Legumine concentrations commonly used in field applications to remove unwanted fish could result in considerable mortality of the earliest stages of Lithobates species. In addition to acute lethality, piscicide treatments may result in delayed tail resorption, which places the tadpoles at risk by increasing their vulnerability to predation and pathogens.