Non-target arthropod testing with the carabid beetle (Poecilus cupreus)

The aim of the study is to estimate the acute toxicity of Poecilus cupreus under the impact of residues of plant potection products on natural soil in an extended laboratory experiment, compared to a water treated control and a reference item group. Additionally, an assessment for significant sublethal effects will be made (behavioural abnormalities and food consumption). If possible the EC50 value for mortality will be calculated.

Study Design

Test organisms

The carabid beetle Poecilus cupreus recommended as one of the standard species for non-target arthropod regulatory testing for plant protection products (Candolfi et al. 2001).

Course of the test

The purpose of this study is to determine the toxicity of plant protection products on the carabid beetle P. cupreus under extended laboratory conditions and to investigate sublethal effects on behaviour and food consumption of the survivors, compared to a water treated control and to a reference item. The bioassay will be carried out under extended laboratory conditions with natural substrate (LUFA 2.1 soil). The exposure time of the spiders to the treated soil is 14 days. The exposure time of the beetles to the treated soil is 14 days.

Tailor-made study designs

The study can also be performed in an aged residue design. For this study type soil will be treated under field conditions and the treated soil will be transferred to the lab after aging of a determined time period. The course of the test is the same as described above.


Mortality, behavioural abnormalities and food consumption of exposed beetles; if possible EC50: lethal rate producing 50 % mortality at test end (14 days).

Guidelines and Literature

  • Candolfi M.P., Barrett K.L., Campbell P.J., Forster R., Grandy N., Huet M-C., Lewis G., Oomen P.A., Schmuck R. & Vogt H., 2001. Guidance document on regulatory testing and risk assessment procedures for plant protection products with non-target arthropods. From the ESCORT 2 workshop (European Standard Characteristics Of non-target arthropods Regulatory Testing), a joint BART, EOOP/CoE, OECD and IOBC Workshop organized in conjunction with SETAC-Europe and EC. SETAC Europe publisher, 2001
  • Heimbach, U., Dohmen, P., Barrett, K.L., Brown, K., Kennedy, P.J., Kleiner, R., Römbke, J., Schmitzer, S., Schmuck, R., Ufer, A. & Wilhelmy, H. (2000): A method for testing effects of plant protection products on the carabid beetle Poecilus cupreus (Coleoptera, Carabidae) under laboratory, and semi-field conditions. – In: Candolfi, M.P., Blümel, S., Forster, R., Bakker, F.M., Grimm, C., Hassan, S.A., Heimbach, U., Mead-Briggs, M.A., Reber, B, Schmuck, R. & H. Vogt (edt.) (2000): Guidelines to evaluate side-effects of plant protection products to non-target arthropods. IOBC/ WPRS, OILB/SROP: 87-106.