Toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate to Chordodes nobilii (Gordiida, Nematomorpha)

Chemosphere. 2008 May;71(10):1816-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Apr 3.


Nematomorpha (horsehair worms) is a poorly known group of worm-like animals similar to nematodes. Adults are free-living and reproduction takes place in freshwater environments, where preparasitic larvae undergo development. All species have a parasitic juvenil stage and infection may result in the host's death, insects being the most frequent host. Most of the life cycle occurs in freshwater environments, which are often contaminated by different pollutants. Based on the lack of information on the toxicity of herbicides to horsehair worms, the objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of different concentrations of glyphosate (technical grade and formulated product) on Chordodes nobilii (Gordiida, Nematomorpha). Bioassays were performed with embryos and larvae (preparasitic stages), and adults (postparasitic stage). Test organisms were exposed for a short period of time to concentrations ranging between 0.1 and 8 mga.e.l(-1) of glyphosate (technical and formulated). Although embryo development was not inhibited, there was a significant decrease in the infective capacity of larvae derived from eggs that had been exposed to >or= 0.1mg/l. Similar results were obtained for directly exposed larvae. No differences in toxicity were detected between the active ingredient and formulated product. Adult exposed for 96 h to 1.76 mgl(-1) formulated Gly shown a mortality of 50%. Results indicate that C. nobilii is affected at glyphosate concentrations lower than those expected to be found in freshwater environments and those specified in the legislation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / parasitology*
  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Helminths / drug effects*
  • Helminths / embryology
  • Helminths / physiology
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Larva / parasitology
  • Larva / physiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Herbicides
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine