• fathead minnow;
  • handling;
  • stress;
  • reproduction;
  • steroids

Anaesthesia with MS-222 followed by intra-peritoneal (ip) injection (with a 10% ethanol in corn oil carrier) of fathead minnow either as one or three (weekly) treatments did not affect survival, behaviour or secondary sexual characteristics of the fish. Fecundity of the fish, as indicated by fertility and hatching success, was also unaffected. Gonadal condition (relative gonad mass, histopathology) was not altered in either sex. Male and female plasma sex steroids (β;-oestradiol, testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone) and male vitellogenin concentrations were not significantly affected by the treatments. Females subjected to either ip treatment regime had significantly higher plasma vitellogenin concentrations than control females. However, based on previous data, this difference did not appear to be treatment-related. Overall, exposure of fathead minnows to chemicals via the ip route should not confound the interpretation of toxicity tests with potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.