Zoological Studies

Vol. 44 No. 1, 2005

Monitoring Behavioral Responses to the Heavy Metal Cadmium in the Marine Shrimp Hippolyte inermis Leach (Crustacea: Decapoda) with Video Imaging

Hubert Untersteiner1,*, Gerwin Gretschel2, Tom Puchner2, Sonja Napetschnig2, and Helmut Kaiser1

1Institute of Zoology, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 2, 8010 Graz, Austria
2School of Marine Biology Valsaline, Valsaline 31, 52100 Pula, Croatia

Hubert Untersteiner, Gerwin Gretschel, Tom Puchner, Sonja Napetschnig, and Helmut Kaiser (2005) In this study, the subacute toxicity of the heavy metal cadmium to Hippolyte inermis Leach was investigated. Subacute effects were evaluated using changes in the locomotory behavior (i.e., moving velocity and moving distance) as indicators. The locomotory activity was analyzed by means of real-time image analysis, using a video camera and a Pentium PC equipped with a standard low-cost frame grabber. For a sequence of 3000 images per treatment, where 10 shrimp were moving simultaneously, the trajectories were reconstructed as binary image sequences. The locomotory activity of the test organisms was analyzed under normal conditions (without heavy metal stress) and after application of a subacute Cd stress. Test animals were stressed by Cd of the following 3 concentrations: 1 (C1), 2 (C2), and 3.5 ppm (C3). Shrimp were exposed to the heavy metal concentrations for 12 h under static conditions. At initiation (0 h) of Cd exposure, the test animals showed a significant (p ≤ 0.05) decrease in the average swimming velocity at C3. After 3 h of Cd exposure, the median moving velocity was for the first time highly significantly (p ≤ 0.01) reduced with the 1 ppm Cd treatment.

Key words: Subacute toxicity, Ethotoxicology, Cadmium, Hippolytidae.

*Correspondence: Tel: 43-676-5172556. Fax: 43-316-425654. E-mail: hubert.untersteiner@aon.at