Experimental Study on Diflubenzuron: Degradation in Freshwater and Bioconcentration in Mosquitofish Following Chronic Exposure


Diflubenzuron (DFB, trade name dimilin 25 WP) is a chitin synthesis inhibitor widely used against forest insect pests in Algeria. Prior to implementation of these products as chemical agents for mosquito control, knowledge on their potential effects on non-target organisms and its behaviour in water are needed. Therefore, the present study was focused on DFB and aimed to use an HPLC procedure developed previously in order to obtain information on its degradation in freshwater and its bioconcentration in adult females of the fish Gambusia affinis (Cyprinodondiformes, Poeciliidae), which is one of the best candidates for biological control programs against mosquitoes. The adult females were exposed to dimilin (initial concentration 312 ng a.i./ml) for 28 days and residues analysis determined at different exposure times (0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days). The concentration of DFB in freshwater decreased with exposure time while the amount of residues detected at the surface of the fish body increased progressively to reach a maximum at day 14 (162.7 ± 14.0 ng/fish) and declined thereafter during the exposure period. In addition, DFB incorporation into body increased with decreasing DFB concentration in water at each exposure time. The following average distribution was noted at the end of experiment (28 days): about 33% of the applied concentration was detected on the surface of fish body and was recovered by simple rinsing, and about 67% was found inside the fish body. A degradation in water and surface of fish occurred starting day 14 during the experimental period. Thus, about 40% of the initial concentration was degraded in freshwater after 28 days. The results are discussed to develop a better understanding of the degradation of dimilin in water and their potential effect on non-target organisms for its application for controlling mosquito.

Share and Cite:

N. Zaidi, J. Farine and N. Soltani, "Experimental Study on Diflubenzuron: Degradation in Freshwater and Bioconcentration in Mosquitofish Following Chronic Exposure," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 188-194. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.42022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] P. E. Kaufman, R. S. Mann and J. F. Butler, “Insecticidal Potency of Novel Compounds on Multiple Insect Species of Medical and Veterinary Importance,” Pest Management Science, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2011, pp. 26-35. doi:10.1002/ps.2025
[2] L. Toma, M. Menegon, R. Romi, E. De Matthaeis, M. Montanaria and C. Severini, “Status of Insecticide Resistance in Culex pipiens Field Populations from NorthEastern Areas of Italy Before the Withdrawal of OP Compounds,” Pest Management Science, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2011, pp. 100-106. doi:10.1002/ps.2039
[3] N. Rehimi and N. Soltani, “Laboratory Evaluation of Alsystine. A Chitin Synthesis Inhibitor, against Culex pipiens L. (Diptera Culicidae): Effects on Development and Cuticle Secretion,” Journal of Applied Entomology, Vol. 123, No. 7, 1999, pp. 437-441. doi:10.1046/j.1439-0418.1999.00388.x
[4] N. Rehimi and N. Soltani, “Laboratory Evaluation of Andalin, an Insect Growth Regulator Interfering With Cuticle Deposition, Against Mosquito Larvae,” Revue Scientifique & Technique, Vol. 18, 2002, pp. 106-108.
[5] F. Tine-Djebar and N. Soltani, “Activité Biologique D’un Agoniste Non Stéroidien de L’hormone de Mue sur Culiseta longiareolata: Analyses Morphométrique, Biochimique et Energétique,” Synthèse, Vol. 18, 2008, pp. 23-34.
[6] F. Tine-Djebbar, A. B. Larhem and N. Soltani, “Enzyme Immunoassay Measurements of the Molting Hormone in Different Post-Embryonic Stages of two Mosquito Species, Culex pipiens and Culiseta longiareolata,” African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 10, No. 67, 2011, pp. 15195-15199. doi:10.5897/AJB11.2085
[7] M. G. Paoletti and D. Pimentel, “Environmental Risks of Pesticides Versus Genetic Engineering for Agricultural Pest Control,” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol. 12, No. 3, 2000, pp. 279-303. doi:10.1023/A:1009571131089
[8] S. D. Frank, “Biological Control of Arthropod Pests Using Banker Plant Systems: Past Progress and Future Directions,” Biological Control, Vol. 52, 2010, pp. 8-16. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2009.09.011
[9] T. S. Dhadialla, A. Retnakaran and G. Smagghe, “Insect Growth and Development Disrupting Insecticides,” In: L. I. Gilbert, I. Kostas and S. Gill, Eds., Comprehensive Insect Molecular Science, Pergamon Press, New York, 2005, pp. 55-116. doi:10.1016/B0-44-451924-6/00076-4
[10] T. S. Dhadialla and R. Ross, “Bisacylhydrazines: Novel Chemistry for Insect Control,” In: W. Kramer and U. Schimer, Eds., Modern Crop Protection Compounds, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2007, pp. 773-796.
[11] N. Soltani and N. Rehimi, “Laboratory Evaluation of Andalin, A New Insecticide Interfering with Cuticle Deposition, against Culex pipiens,” Journal Algérien de Medecine, Vol. 11, 2001, pp. 28-33.
[12] N. Rehimi, “Etude de La Reproduction Chez Culex pipiens pipiens. Aspects: Morphologique, Ethologique et Physiologique. Effets de Quelques Inhibiteurs du Développement sur Quelques Paramètres Biologiques,” Ph.D. Thesis, Annaba University, Algeria, 2004.
[13] R. Kumar and J. S. Hwang, “Larvicidal Efficiency of Aquatic Predators: A Perspective for Mosquito Control,” Zoological Studies, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2006, pp. 447-466.
[14] W. E. Walton, “Larvivorous Fish Including Gambusia,” In: T. Floore, Ed., Biorational Control of Mosquitoes, Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2007, pp. 184-220.
[15] F. Bendali, F. Djebbar and N. Soltani, “Efficacité Comparée de Quelques Espèces de Poisons a L’égard de Divers Stades de Culex pipiens L. Dans des Conditions de Laboratoire,” Parasitica, Vol. 57, No. 4, 2001, pp. 255-265.
[16] N. Zaidi and N. Soltani, “Environmental Risks of Two Chitin Synthesis Inhibitors on Gambusia affinis: Chronic Effects on Growth and Recovery of Biological Responses,” Biological Control, Vol. 59, 2011, pp. 106-113. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2011.04.001
[17] C. Corley, R. Miller and K. Hill, “Determination of N-(4-chlorophenyl)-N-(2,6-difluorobenzoyl)-urea in Milk Of High-Speed Liquid Chromatography,” Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Vol. 57, 1974, pp. 1269-1271.
[18] C. H. Schaefer and E. F. Dupras, “Factors Affecting the Stability of Dimilin in Water and The Persistence of Dimilin in Field Waters,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 24, No. 4, 1976, pp. 733-739. doi:10.1021/jf60206a013
[19] G. E. Spates and J. E. Wright, “Residues of Diflubenzuron Applied Topically to Adult Stable Flies,” Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 73, 1980, pp. 595-598.
[20] A. H. Abdel Monem and R. O. Mumma, “Development of an Analytical Procedure for an Insect Growth Regulator (EL-494) Employing High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography and Its Application on Residues,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 29, No. 1, 1981, pp. 75-78. doi:10.1021/jf00103a020
[21] A. I. Valenzuela, Y. Pico and G. Font, “Liquid Chromatography/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical IonizationMass Spectrometric Analysis of Benzoylurea Insecticides in Citrus Fruits,” Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 14, No. 7, 2000, pp. 572-577. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0231(20000415)14:7<572::AID-RCM911>3.0.CO;2-2
[22] N. Soltani, J. P. Delbecque and J. Delachambre, “Penetration and Insecticidal Activity of Diflubenzuron in Tenebrio molitor Pupae,” Pesticide Science, Vol. 14, No. 6, 1983, pp. 615-622. doi:10.1002/ps.2780140609
[23] N. Soltani and N. Soltani-Mazouni, “Diflubenzuron and Oogenesis in the Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella (L.),” Pesticide Science, Vol. 34, No. 3, 1992, pp. 257-261. doi:10.1002/ps.2780340311
[24] N. Soltani, N. Pitoizet, N. Soltani-Mazouni and J. Delbecque, “Quantification par Chromatographie Liquide à Haute Perfermance du Diflubenzuron et du Flucyloxuron chez Tenebrio molitor et Thaumetopoea pytiocampa,”Proceedings of International Symposium on Crop Protection, Vol. 59, No. 2, 1994, pp. 481-486.
[25] M. E. H. Khebbeb, J. Delachambre and N. Soltani, “Ingested Diflubenzuron Disturbed the Lipidic Metabolism during the Sexual Maturation of Mealworms,” Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, Vol. 58, No. 3, 1997, pp. 209-217. doi:10.1006/pest.1997.2296
[26] N. Soltani and S. M. Morsli, “Quantification du Dimilin par Chromatographie Liquide à Haute Performance: Etude de sa Dégradation dans L’eau de Mer,” Journal de Recherche Océanographique, Vol. 28, 2003, pp. 118-120.
[27] H. Drardja-Beldi, “Contribution à L’étude de Gambusia affinis (Téléostéen, Poeciliidae), Poisson Prédateur des Larves de Moustiques, Croissance des Alevins, Etude du Cycle Sexuel et Corrélations Métapoliques,” Ph.D. Thesis, Annaba University, Algeria, 1993.
[28] D. J. MadderJ and W. L. Lockhart, “A Preliminary Study of the Effects of Diflubenzuron and Methoprene on Rainbow Trout (Salmo gairdneri Richardson),” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1978, pp. 66-70. doi:10.1007/BF01683487
[29] E. G. Ellgaard, J. T. Barber, S. C. Tiwari and A. L. Friend, “An Analysis of the Swimming Behavior of Fish Exposed to the Insect Growth Regulators, Methoprene and Diflubenzuron,” Mosquito News, Vol. 39, No. 2, 1979, pp. 311-314.
[30] M. T. Ahmed and A. H. Eid, “Accumulation of Diflubenzuron in Bolti Fish Orechromis niloticus,” Nahrung, Vol. 35, No. 1, 1991, pp. 27-31. doi:10.1002/food.19910350107
[31] L. P. Maduenho and B. R. Martinez, “Acute Effects of Diflubenzuron on the Freshwater Fish Prochilodus lineatus,” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Vol. 148, 2008, pp. 265-272.
[32] C. H. Schaefer, E. F. Dupras, R. J. Stewart, L. W. Davidson and A. E. Colwell, “The Accumulation and Elimination of Diflubenzuron by Fish,” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 21, No. 1-2, 1979, pp. 249-254.
[33] Y. Koya, A. Fujita, F. Niki, E. Ishihara and H. Miyama, “Sex Differentiation and Pubertal Development of Gonads in the Viviparous Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis,” Zoological Science, Vol. 20, No. 10, 2003, pp. 1231-1242. doi:10.2108/zsj.20.1231
[34] J. Venkateswara Rao, G. Begum, R. Pallela, P. K. Usman and R. Nagaswara Rao, “Changes in Behavior and Brain Acetylcholiesterase Activity in Mosquitofish Gambusia affinis in Response to the Sub-Lethal Exposure to Chloropyrifos,” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2005, pp. 478-483. doi:10.3390/ijerph2005030013
[35] C. C. Smith and R. C. Sargent, “Female Fitness Declines with Increasing Female Density but Not Mele Harassment in the Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis,” Animal Behaviour, Vol. 71, 2006, pp. 401-407. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.06.003
[36] H. Drardja-Beldi, “Etude de Gambusia affinis (Poisson, Téléostéen) et Donax trunculus (Mollusque, Pélécypode): Ecologie, Physiologie et Impacts de Quelques Altéragènes,” Ph.D. Thesis, Annaba University, Algeria, 2007.
[37] H. Drardja-Beldi and N. Soltani, “Laboratory Evaluation of Dimilin on Growth and Glutathione Activity in Mosquitofish, A Non Target Species,” Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, Vol. 68, No. 4, 2003, pp. 299-305.
[38] S. M. Morsli and N. Soltani, “Effets d’un Insecticide Inhibiteur de La Synthèse de La Chitine, Le Diflubenzuron, Sur La Cuticule de La Crevette Penaeus kerathurus,” Journal de Recherche Océanographique, Vol. 28, 2003, pp. 85-88.
[39] N. Soltani, H. Lachekhab and G. Smagghe, “Impact of the Insect Growth Regulator Diflubenzuron on Biochimical Composition of Cuticle of The Shrimp Penaeus kerathurus,” Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, Vol. 74, No. 1, 2009, pp. 137-141.
[40] K. M. S. Sundaram, S. B. Holmes, D. P. Kreutzweiser, A. Sundaram and P. D. Kingsbury, “Environmental Persistence and Impact of Diflubenzuron in a Forest Aquatic Environment Following Aerial Application,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 20, No. 3, 1991, pp. 313-324. doi:10.1007/BF01064396
[41] A. Selvik, P. K. Hansen, A. Ervik and O. B. Samuelsen, “The Stability and Persistence of Diflubenzuron in Marine Sediments Studied Under Laboratory Conditions and the Dispersion to the Sediment Under a Fish Farm Following Medication,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 285, No. 1-3, 2002, pp. 237-245.
[42] L. S. Ricardo, J. M. C. Paulo and M. V. Eny, “Analysis of Diflubenzuron in Tilapia Filet by HPLC-DAD,” Journal of Chromatographic Science, Vol. 47, 2009, pp. 785-788.
[43] D. J. Austin and K. J. Hall, “A Method of Analysis for the Determination of Binapacryl, Bupirimate and Diflubenzuron on Apple Foliage and Fruit, and Its Application to Persistence Studies,” Pesticide Science, Vol. 12, No. 5, 1981, pp. 495-502. doi:10.1002/ps.2780120505
[44] K. A. Barnes, J. R. Startin, S. A. Thorpe, S. L. Reynolds and R. J. Fussel, “Determination of the Pesticide Diflubenzuron in Mushrooms by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry,” Journal of Chromatography A, Vol. 712, No. 1, 1995, pp. 85-93. doi:10.1016/0021-9673(95)00481-2
[45] E. Rodriguez, R. J. Barrio, A. Goicolea, R. Peche, Z. Gómez de Balugera and C. Sampedro, “Presistance of the Insecticides Dimilin 45 ODC on Conifer Forest in an Atlantic Climate Ecosystem,” Environmental Science Technology, Vol. 35, No. 18, 2001, pp. 3804-3808. doi:10.1021/es0106927
[46] S. A. Fischer and L. W. Hall, “Environmental Concentrations and Aquatic Toxicity Data on Diflubenzuron (Dimilin),” Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Vol. 22, No. 1, 1992, pp. 45-79. doi:10.3109/10408449209145321
[47] L. S. Mian and M. S. Mulla, “Biological and Environmental Dynamics of Insect Growth-Regulators (Igrs) as Used against Diptera of Public-Health Importance,” Residue Reviews, Vol. 84, 1982, pp. 27-112. doi:10.1007/978-1-4612-5756-1_2
[48] K. A. Smith, A. A. Grigarick, J. H. Lynch and M. J. Oraze, “Effect of Alsystin and Diflubenzuron on the Rice Water Weevil (Coleoptera, curculionidae),” Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 78, No. 1, 1985, pp. 185189.
[49] G. W. Ivie, D. L. Bull and J. A. Veech, “Fate of Diflubenzuron in Water,” Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1980, pp. 330-337. doi:10.1021/jf60228a063
[50] C. Alzieu, “Toxicité et Persistance en Milieu Marin d’un Insecticide Dérivé des Benzoylurées: Le Diflubenzuron,” Revue des Travaux de l’Institut des Pêches Maritimes, Vol. 41, No. 4, 1977, pp. 317-324.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.