Fate and ecotoxicological effects of pyriproxyfen in aquatic ecosystems

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 May;27(14):16052-16068. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-08345-8. Epub 2020 Mar 16.


Pyriproxyfen is an insect growth regulator acting as larvicide against a large spectrum of public health insect pests, especially dipterans. It is also widely used in agriculture and horticulture for the control of many insect species. Disrupting the endocrine system by mimicking the activity of the juvenile hormone, pyriproxyfen interferes with metamorphosis in insects and prevents them from reaching maturity and reproducing. Because the aquatic ecosystems can be directly or indirectly contaminated by pyriproxyfen, the goal of this study was to establish the aquatic ecotoxicological profile of pyriproxyfen and to identify the gaps that need to be filled. Pyriproxyfen is photodegraded quickly in water. In the absence of organic matter, its persistence in aerobic water media is also limited especially with high temperature and sunlight. Analysis of the laboratory and in situ results for more than 60 aquatic algae, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates shows that the toxicity of pyriproxyfen is highly variable including within a same taxonomical group. Abiotic and biotic factors can highly influence the toxicity of the molecule. Pyriproxyfen disrupts the development of numerous species and adversely impacts various physiological events. It can also disturb the behavior of the organisms such as their predatory and swimming performances. Although some experimental studies focus on the environmental fate of pyriproxyfen metabolites, those dealing with their aquatic ecotoxicity assessment are scarce. In the same way, the limited number of studies dealing with the search of pyriproxyfen residues in lake, river, and other natural aquatic media does not include the identification of the metabolites.

Keywords: Aquatic toxicity; Pyriproxyfen, insect growth regulator, environmental fate; Residue analysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecosystem*
  • Ecotoxicology*
  • Invertebrates
  • Pyridines


  • Pyridines
  • pyriproxyfen