Assessment of lead uptake in reptilian prey species

Chemosphere. 2007 Jul;68(8):1591-6. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.12.045. Epub 2007 May 8.


As part of an investigation determining the trophically available fraction of metals in a model terrestrial food web, i.e., invertebrate prey to Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis), we evaluated the ability of several invertebrate prey to bioaccumulate lead and to form metals-rich granules, which are hypothesized to be non-available to predators. Crickets (Acheta domestica), tenebroid beetle larvae (Tenebrio molitor), and isopods (Porcellio scaber) were selected as model prey organisms. Lack of standard exposure methodologies for these species has presented a barrier to trophic transfer evaluations, as each species has particular requirements that create challenges for designing exposure conditions. We were able to devise exposure conditions for all three species that allow long-term exposure studies. All prey organisms accumulated lead from contaminated food, and for all species the majority of the accumulated Pb was associated with the exoskeleton (>50%), with metals-rich granules accounting for most of the remaining accumulated lead.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Arthropods / metabolism*
  • Body Burden
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Food Chain
  • Lead / analysis
  • Lead / pharmacokinetics*
  • Lizards / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Lead