Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Department Chair or Program Director

Hayob, Jodie

First Advisor

Frankel, Tyler

Second Advisor

Kisila, Ben

Third Advisor

Reif, Randall

Major or Concentration

Environmental Science (Natural Science Concentration)


Agricultural pest species are a growing concern due to increasing resistance to neonicotinoids. Sulfoxaflor, a sulfoximine pesticide recently approved by the USEPA, was developed to replace neonicotinoids and has shown to have high efficacy in the field. Environmental introduction is primarily caused by wet spray application or agricultural runoff. Sulfoxaflor binds to insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, triggering overactivation that leads to paralysis and death. Preliminary exposure studies have shown neonatal effects and development of liver tumors in rats and mice at 500 and 750 ppm, respectively. Little research into the effects on aquatic nontarget invertebrates has been conducted; as such, this research aims to identify potential physiological and behavioral impacts of sulfoxaflor on juvenile Daphnia magna at concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, and 10 µg/L. HPLC analysis indicated that sulfoxaflor does not readily degrade under laboratory conditions. Despite low sample sizes, trends in increased mortality and length of apical spine were observed for 7-day exposures. Potential decreases in heart rate and mobility parameters such as average speed, acceleration, and total distance after 7-day exposures were also identified. This research aims to help elucidate the potential sublethal impacts of sulfoxaflor on non-target aquatic invertebrates at environmentally relevant concentrations