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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/37676

Title: Low doses of ivermectin cause sensory and locomotor disorders in dung beetles
Authors: Verdú, José R.
Cortez, Vieyle
Ortiz, Antonio J.
González-Rodríguez, Estela
Martínez-Pinna, Juan
Lumaret, Jean-Pierre
Lobo, Jorge M.
Numa, Catherine
Sánchez-Piñero, Francisco
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Ivermectin is a veterinary pharmaceutical generally used to control the ecto- and endoparasites of livestock, but its use has resulted in adverse effects on coprophilous insects, causing population decline and biodiversity loss. There is currently no information regarding the direct effects of ivermectin on dung beetle physiology and behaviour. Here, based on electroantennography and spontaneous muscle force tests, we show sub-lethal disorders caused by ivermectin in sensory and locomotor systems of Scarabaeus cicatricosus, a key dung beetle species in Mediterranean ecosystems. Our findings show that ivermectin decreases the olfactory and locomotor capacity of dung beetles, preventing them from performing basic biological activities. These effects are observed at concentrations lower than those usually measured in the dung of treated livestock. Taking into account that ivermectin acts on both glutamate-gated and GABA-gated chloride ion channels of nerve and muscle cells, we predict that ivermectin’s effects at the physiological level could influence many members of the dung pat community. The results indicate that the decline of dung beetle populations could be related to the harmful effects of chemical contamination in the dung.
Sponsorship: Financial support was provided by the Project OAPN 762/2012 of the Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales-Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Keywords: Agroecology
Behavioural ecology
Ecophysiology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/37676
ISSN: 2045-2322
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Verdú, J.R.; et al. Low doses of ivermectin cause sensory and locomotor disorders in dung beetles. Scientific Reports, 5: 13912 (2015). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/37676]
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