The aim of this project was to obtain a baseline understanding and investigate the concentration of mercury (Hg) in the tissue of terrestrial arthropods. The 4-month sampling campaign took place around Monterey Bay, California. Total mercury (HgT) concentrations (x ± SD, dry weight) for the captured specimens ranged from 22 to 188 ng g−1 in the Jerusalem crickets (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae); 65–233 ng g−1 in the camel crickets (Orthoptera: Rhaphidophoridae); 25–227 ng g−1 in the pill bugs (Isopoda: Armadillidiidae); 19–563 ng g−1 in the ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae); 140–441 ng g−1 in the variegated meadowhawk dragonflies (Odonata: Libellulidae); 607–657 ng g−1 in the pacific spiketail dragonflies (Odonata: Cordulegastridae); and 81–1,249 ng g−1 in the wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae). A subset of samples analyzed for monomethyl mercury (MMHg) suggest detrital pill bugs have a higher MMHg/HgT ratio than predatory ground beetles.
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The authors would like to thank the Louis Stokes California Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) Friends of Long Marine Laboratory for their financial support; members of the WIGS laboratory, especially Priya Ganguli, Christopher Conaway, and Robert Franks for their technical support; Christopher Lay, Jennifer Rojero and Paul Dvorson for their assistance in sampling; and lastly the Año Nuevo State Park Rangers for facilitating the access to Chalk Mountain.
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Ortiz, C., Weiss-Penzias, P.S., Fork, S. et al. Total and Monomethyl Mercury in Terrestrial Arthropods from the Central California Coast. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 94, 425–430 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-014-1448-6