Total and monomethyl mercury in terrestrial arthropods from the central California coast

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2015 Apr;94(4):425-30. doi: 10.1007/s00128-014-1448-6. Epub 2014 Dec 31.


The aim of this project was to obtain a baseline understanding and investigate the concentration of mercury (Hg) in the tissue of terrestrial arthropods. The 4-month sampling campaign took place around Monterey Bay, California. Total mercury (HgT) concentrations (x ± SD, dry weight) for the captured specimens ranged from 22 to 188 ng g(-1) in the Jerusalem crickets (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae); 65-233 ng g(-1) in the camel crickets (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae); 25-227 ng g(-1) in the pill bugs (Isopoda: Armadillidiidae); 19-563 ng g(-1) in the ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae); 140-441 ng g(-1) in the variegated meadowhawk dragonflies (Odonata: Libellulidae); 607-657 ng g(-1) in the pacific spiketail dragonflies (Odonata: Cordulegastridae); and 81-1,249 ng g(-1) in the wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae). A subset of samples analyzed for monomethyl mercury (MMHg) suggest detrital pill bugs have a higher MMHg/HgT ratio than predatory ground beetles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthropods / metabolism*
  • California
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Mercury