Ostracod Crustacean Toxicity Test

ostracod ToxicityTest

6 days direct contact Ostracod Crustacean Toxicity screening kit for contaminated river sediments.

Each OSTRACODTOXKIT F contains all the materials to perform 3 up to 8 (*) chronic toxicity tests with the freshwater ostracod crustacean Heterocypris incongruens. The ostracod crustacean toxicity tests have easy to follow instructions and detailed illustrations are provided in the kits for the conduct of the bioassays. The test organisms are included in the kits as “dormant eggs (cysts)” which can be easily hatched on demand in less than 3 days, to supply the live biota for the conduct of the assays.

Also applicable to contaminated soils and solid wastes

(*)     depending on the number of parallels (6 or 4) and the concurrent or separate performance of the assays




Please review the step-by-step presentation on the OSTRACODTOXKIT F Procedure:

Ostracod Test Presentation

ostracod TestKit Presentation

Click here to download the Ostracod Power Point.

EBPI Comparison Data of MicroBioTests

comparison Data MicroBiotests

Click here for comparison data.

Daphnia Toxicity Test Protocol

ostracod ToxicityTesting

Click here to download the latest version of the Ostracod Short Protocol.

Test criterion

  • The OSTRACODTOXKIT F toxicity test is a 6 days chronic assay based on two distinct effect criteria: mortality of the test organisms or growth inhibition, resulting from the direct contact with (non-diluted) sediment.


  • Cysts of high quality produced in strictly controlled conditions prelude variability associated with recruitment/maintenance of live stocks in laboratory cultures. Standardized micro-plate test containers constructed of biologically inert materials ensure uniform exposure conditions.
  • High uniformity of the volume of sediment in each test cup is guaranteed through a unique sediment dispensing system.
  • Highly uniform quality of the water layer on top of the sediment in the test cups (water/sediment ration  8 : 1) is achieved with the standard EPA freshwater prepared by simple dilution of concentrated solutions of selected salts with deionized water.
  • A quality control of the test organisms for survival and growth is obtained by parallel testing in a reference sediment included in each Toxkit.
  • The addition of a fixed amount of a standard food (live algae) to the test cups precludes variability of results due to food shortage resulting from different amounts of (live or dead) organic material in the test sediments.

Assets and cost-effectiveness

  • Cysts can be hatched on demand, eliminating the need and the costs of continuous culturing and maintenance of test organisms.
  • Minimal equipment is needed for the test performance: dissecting microscope - small incubator - small centrifuge - conventional laboratory glassware.
  • Shelf-life of cysts guaranteed for several months when stored properly, reducing test scheduling constraints.
  • Live (algal) food for the test-organisms easily obtained from “algal beads” included in the Toxkit.
  • Length measurement of the ostracods easily performed with unique micrometer slips included in each Toxkit.


  • Tubes with cysts, concentrated hatching and test medium, hatching and test containers, reference sediment, glass micro-pipettes for the transfer of the organisms, algal food, micrometer slips, large mouth syringes, plastic micro pipettes and micro-sieve for the sediment transfers.
  • Detailed Standard Operational Procedure brochure, abbreviated Bench Protocol and data scoring sheets.
  • Specification sheet with the batch number of the cysts, the media, the food and the reference sediment.


  • Simple handling and scoring.
  • Total performance time of the assay is less than 2 hours.


  • The sensitivity of the Ostracodtoxkit toxicity test compares favorably with that of “conventional” sediment contact tests with e.g. the amplipod Hyalella azteca or the midge larvae Chironomus riparius.


  • The Ostracodtoxkit has already been successfully applied on a large number of contaminated sediments from different rivers in different countries, in parallel with pore water assays or conventional sediment contact tests.

Optional Components for the Chronic OSTRACODTOXKIT F

  • TK36    Chronic OSTRACODTOXKIT F with Heterocypris incongruens (3-5 tests per kit)

Test Biota

  • TB36     10 Tubes with Heterocyris incongruens cysts

Test Containers

  • TC34     10 Multi-well plates for chronic ostracod tests

Test Media

  • TM11     10 Sets of concentrated media for fresh water toxicity tests ( 10 X 1 EPA medium)

Test Foods

  • TF12     5 Tubes with algal food for chronic ostracod tests + de-immobilization medium
  • TF14     10 Tubes with Spirulina powder for pre-feeding

Test Items

  • TI18     5 vials with Lugol fixative for short-chronic rotifer and chronic ostracod tests
  • TI19     5 vials with reference sediment for chronic ostracod tests
  • TI21     15 small petri dishes (Ø 55 mm)
  • TI22     5 microsieves for chronic ostracod tests
  • TI27     10 sheets Parafilm for rotifer and crustacean tests (3 x 2 squares)
  • TI34     50 micrometer slips for chronic ostracod tests
  • TI35     15 glass micropipettes (5 x 3) for chronic ostracod tests
  • TI36     10 wide mouth pipettes for chronic ostracod tests

Equipment Needed

  • Incubator with lateral illumination
  • Light table with transparent stage
  • Luxmeter
  • Dissection microscope with transparent stage