Terrestrial isopods—a good choice for toxicity testing of pollutants in the terrestrial environment
Terrestrial isopods are suitable invertebrates for testing the relative toxicities of chemicals present in the terrestrial environment. Terrestrial isopods respond in numerous ways to elevated concentrations of chemicals in their food, but only a few of these responses can be used as toxicological endpoints. The most suitable are changes in reproduction, food consumption, moult cycle duration, and structure of the digestive glands. These responses are able to provide accurate indications of sublethal toxicity. Toxicity tests with terrestrial isopods could be much more reliable through the use of positive controls. A positive control with a reference toxicant could also be supplemented by a reference endpoint. The most suitable reference endpoint is change of food consumption rate. Toxicity testing with terrestrial isopods is a very promising method for fast, routine, and inexpensive laboratory determination of the relative toxicities of chemicals in the terrestrial environment.