J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 1189 - 1191

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 1189
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030513

Mercury accumulation and loss by necrophageous calliphoridae larvae (diptera)

J. Sarica1, M. Amyot2, J. Bey3 and L. Hare1

1  Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, INRS, Eau, Terre et Environnement, Université du Québec, 2800 rue Einstein, CP. 7500, Sainte-Foy, Québec G1V 4C7, Canada
2  Département des Sciences Biologiques, D223, Pavillon Marie-Victorin, Université de Montréal, 90 Vincent d'Indy, Montréal H2V 2S9, Canada
3  Institut Universitaire Technologique de Clermont-Ferrand, BP. 86, 63172 Aubière cedex, France

Fish represent the dominant methylmercury (CH 3Hg) pool in aquatic systems and CH 3Hg released from carcasses after fish death could constitute a significant flux to the environment. Necrophageous invertebrates play an important role in this Hg recycling. Necrophageous calliphorid fly larvae (Diptera) are known to consume beached carcasses. In this study, we report that the Hg these flies accumulate from fish carcasses is retained in their pupal stage but is eliminated by the adult following emergence. Thus calliphorids possess an efficient mechanism for excreting the Hg that they accumulate from carcasses.

© EDP Sciences 2003