Fipronil effect on the frequency of anomalous brood in honeybee reared in vitro
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Larvae of honeybee workers were exposed to the insecticide fipronil during the feeding phase. To evaluate the effect of fipronil in the post-embryonic development of africanized Apis mellifera, bioassays of toxicity were done. The bioassays were performed by acute exposure applying 1 mu L of distilled water for control (I) and for experiments: 0.5 ng a.i./mu L of fipronil; 5 ng a.i./mu L of fipronil and 20 ng a.i./mu L. of fipronil. Triplicates were performed for all treatments. The results showed that the rate of anomalous pupae in exposed honeybees was statistically significant in relationship to the control (p <0:03). The most frequent abnormalities were: high pigmentation on the proximal and distal larval body and body malformation, such as absence of head and limbs. Pink eye pupa and white eyed pupae presented malformations in their larval bodies, but with the eye developed. It is assumed that the fat body is related to the high rate of anomalies, since this tissue has proteins linked to the process of metamorphosis. Furthermore, the fat body may be participating in the regulation of juvenile hormone during the process of metamorphosis, and consequently in the release of ecdysteroid hormones that are involved in the change from larva to adult. The high rate of abnormalities in the pupal stage of individuals exposed to fipronil raises concerns about the impacts caused in the colonies of bees and population decline of pollinators.