Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on the echolocation system of insectivorous bats

Chung Hsin Wu*, Ching Lung Lin, Sheue Er Wang, Chen Wen Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Imidacloprid, a widely used neonicotinoid insecticide, has led to a decline in the honey bee population worldwide. An invertebrate insect prey with neonicotinoid toxicity can adversely affect insectivores, such as echolocating bats. The aim of the current study was to examined whether imidacloprid toxicity may interfere echolocation system such as vocal, auditory, orientation, and spatial memory systems in the insectivorous bat. By comparing the ultrasound spectrum, auditory brainstem-evoked potential, and flight trajectory, we found that imidacloprid toxicity may interfere functions in vocal, auditory, orientation, and spatial memory system of insectivorous bats (Hipposideros armiger terasensis). As suggested from immunohistochemistry and western blots evidences, we found that insectivorous bats after suffering imidacloprid toxicity may decrease vocal-related FOXP2 expressions in the superior colliculus, auditory-related prestin expressions in the cochlea, and the auditory-related otoferlin expressions in the cochlea and the inferior colliculus, and cause inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction-related apoptosis in the hippocampal CA1 and medial entorhinal cortex. These results may provide a reasonable explanation about imidacloprid-induced interference of echolocation system in insectivorous bats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalPesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb


  • Apoptosis
  • Echolocation system
  • FOXP2
  • Imidacloprid
  • Inflammation
  • Insectivorous bats
  • Otoferlin
  • Prestin
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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