The behavioral effects of short periods (2, 4, 6, 8 h) of static exposure to prochloraz (imidazole fungicide) and nicosulfuron (sulfonylurea herbicide) were recorded in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Observations were also made in an olfactometer to assess the effects of 8-h exposures to these two pesticides and to carbofuran (carbamate insecticide) on the behavioral responses to the flow of a solution of four L-amino acids (glycine, alanine, valine, taurine), mixed in the same relative proportions as in the urine of conspecifics. Each pesticide was tested at three sublethal concentrations (25, 50, 100 mug/L), and the behaviors recorded were related to swimming pattern, social interactions, and comfort movements. Static exposures to prochloraz affected horizontal displacements, burst swimming, grouping, and buccal movements. Static exposures to nicosulfuron affected burst swimming and grouping. In pesticide-unexposed fish (control), the flow of the amino acid solution induced attraction, decreased sheltering, and increased horizontal displacements, burst swimming, buccal movements, and antagonistic interactions. Compared to the controls, some of the behavioral responses to the solution of amino acids were significantly different after 8 It of subacute exposure to prochloraz and carbofuran. Both pesticides decreased attraction and increased sheltering. In addition, carbofuran decreased buccal movements and antagonistic interactions. Contrastingly, exposure to nicosulfuron showed no significant effect. This study further confirms the great vulnerability of fish behavior and chemocommunication processes to exposure to waterborne pesticides.
2003. Vol. 45, no 4, 515-524 p.