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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Persistence of the insect growth regulator Dimilin® in brackish water: a laboratory evaluation using larvae of an estuarine crab as indicator

  • M. E. Christiansen1 and
  • J. D. CostlowJr.2
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen33:BF02414758


The persistence of Dimilin® (diflubenzuron), an insect growth regulator which interferes with chitin formation in the cuticle of insect larvae, has been studied using larvae of the estuarine brachyuran crabRhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould) as test material. The results of the present investigation show that Dimilin breaks down relatively slowly in brackish water. It took about 8 weeks before a 10 ppb solution of Dimilin degraded to a level which did not affect survival of the crab larvae. Earlier it was shown (Christiansen et al., 1978) that nearly 100% ofR. harrisii larvae at each of the four zoeal stages died when molting to the succeeding stage after only 3 days of exposure to 10 ppb Dimilin. Hence, one should be extremely cautious in using Dimilin in estuarine areas where crab larvae occur.