The toxicity of glyphosate and several glyphosate formulations to four species of southwestern Australian frogs

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1999 Feb;36(2):193-9. doi: 10.1007/s002449900460.


The acute toxicity of technical-grade glyphosate acid, glyphosate isopropylamine, and three glyphosate formulations was determined for adults of one species and tadpoles of four species of southwestern Australian frogs in 48-h static/renewal tests. The 48-h LC50 values for Roundup(R) Herbicide (MON 2139) tested against tadpoles of Crinia insignifera, Heleioporus eyrei, Limnodynastes dorsalis, and Litoria moorei ranged between 8.1 and 32.2 mg/L (2.9 and 11.6 mg/L glyphosate acid equivalent [AE]), while the 48-h LC50 values for Roundup(R) Herbicide tested against adult and newly metamorphosed C. insignifera ranged from 137-144 mg/L (49.4-51.8 mg/L AE). Touchdown(R) Herbicide (4 LC-E) tested against tadpoles of C. insignifera, H. eyrei, L. dorsalis, and L. moorei was slightly less toxic than Roundup(R) with 48-h LC50 values ranging between 27.3 and 48.7 mg/L (9.0 and 16.1 mg/L AE). Roundup(R) Biactive (MON 77920) was practically nontoxic to tadpoles of the same four species producing 48-h LC50 values of 911 mg/L (328 mg/L AE) for L. moorei and >1,000 mg/L (>360mg/L AE) for C. insignifera, H. eyrei, and L. dorsalis. Glyphosate isopropylamine was practically nontoxic, producing no mortality among tadpoles of any of the four species over 48 h, at concentrations between 503 and 684 mg/L (343 and 466 mg/L AE). The toxicity of technical-grade glyphosate acid (48-h LC50, 81.2-121 mg/L) is likely to be due to acid intolerance. Slight differences in species sensitivity were evident, with L. moorei tadpoles showing greater sensitivity than tadpoles of the other four species. Adult and newly emergent metamorphs were less sensitive than tadpoles.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura / physiology*
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / chemistry
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Herbicides / chemistry
  • Herbicides / toxicity*


  • Herbicides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine