Imposex and butyltin concentrations in snails from the lagoon of Bizerta (Northern Tunisia)

Imposex and butyltin concentrations were assessed in Hexaplex trunculus, Conus mediterraneus, Cyclope neritea and Nassarius mutabilis from Menzel Jemil, and H. trunculus and Stramonita haemastoma from the Bizerta channel. All females of the five species exhibited the characteristic development of male sex organs (penis and/or vas deferens). In Menzel Jemil, H. trunculus and C. mediterraneus exhibit similar imposex levels and were most affected (VDS reading 3-4). The development of a bud penis or a vas deferens sequence behind the right ocular tentacle was reported in Cyclope neritea and N. mutabilis (VDS 1). The concentration of tributyltin (TBT) was similar for the four species. The monobutyltin (MBT) was only detected in C. mediterraneus while the dibutyltin (DBT) was found in all gastropods at similar proportions as TBT. In the Bizerta channel, imposex levels were similar in both H. trunculus and S. haemastoma but imposex degree was higher in H. trunculus. This finding was confirmed by higher TBT concentration recorded in female of H. trunculus. These results suggested that H. trunculus is the more suitable bioindicator for monitoring TBT pollution.


Bioindicators, gastropods, organotins, southern Mediterranean

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Lahbib Youssef, Abidli Sami, Chiffoleau Jean-Francois, Averty Bernard, Trigui el Menif Najoua (2010). Imposex and butyltin concentrations in snails from the lagoon of Bizerta (Northern Tunisia). Marine Biology Research. 6 (6). 600-607.,

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