Fukushima: Study finds deformities “significantly higher” in sample of Fukushima insects — “To my knowledge, such deformations have not previously been reported” in species — Lower body split in half, 2 tail-like appendages — Genetic investigation in Fukushima area an “urgent issue”…



Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?, Ecology and Evolution (Journal), Shin-ichi Akimoto, Graduate School of Agriculture at Hokkaido University, 2014:

Excerpts from Abstract: “This study compared the morphology and viability of gall-forming aphids between the Fukushima population and control populations [...] 13.2% exhibited morphological abnormalities, including four conspicuously malformed individuals [...] In contrast, in seven control areas [...] abnormal morphology accounted for 0.0–5.1% (on average, 3.8%). The proportions of abnormalities and mortality were significantly higher in Fukushima [...] this result suggests that radioactive contamination had deleterious effects”

Excerpts on Morphological Abnormalities: “Ecological and genetic investigations in the Fukushima area are an urgent issue. [...] Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects [and] possess several metrical characters, which would facilitate the detection of morphological abnormalities. [...] I collected closed galls of Tetraneura aphid species [...] 32 km from the Fukushima Daiichi [...] I report frequent occurrences of morphological abnormalities and mortalities [...] possibility of an initial, detrimental impact of fallout. [...] I collected a total of 284 galls [...] June 2012. [...] from the Fukushima area [which] were compared with 1559 T. sorini first instars from seven control areas and 1677 T. nigriabdominalis first instars from six control areas [...] The abnormalities were classified into three categories [...] Of the 167 T. sorini first instars collected in Fukushima, 13.2% exhibited any of the abnormalities [...] the samples from Ukiha, Fukuoka Prefecture, exhibited no abnormalities. Of the samples from Sapporo in 1990, 5.1% exhibited level-1 abnormalities, and this value was the maximum found in the control areas. The incidence of morphological abnormalities in Fukushima was significantly higher than that in other areas [...] on average, 3.8% for other areas. The Fukushima samples were peculiar because they contained four level-3 malformed individuals. One of the individuals had a bifurcated abdomen with 2 caudae [an] intense malformation [...] The second [...] had an empty, distended abdomen and a projection on the joint of the mid-femur and tibia; [possibly] a homologous leg structure. The third [...] bore a large protuberance on the abdomen [and a] solid protuberance at the base of the mid-femur. [The fourth] had 1 hind leg with apical segments missing due to necrosis and another hind leg that was atrophied [...] except for Fukushima, a level-3 malformation was found only once in 1559 individuals (0.064%). [...] In T. radicicola, for which only three galls were collected [and] exhibited abnormalities in all of the galls. [...] one exhibited necrosis in three legs [...] and one lost a mid-tibia [...] Fukushima samples notably contained not only many aberrant first instars but also five highly deformed first instars [...] To my knowledge, such deformations have not previously been reported in aphids. [...] The proportion of abnormalities detected in Fukushima was probably underestimated because seriously deformed first instars were selected out before gall formation [...] Evidence from this study suggests that of several potential factors, radioactive fallout from Fukushima [...] is most likely to have had the strongest effect”

Excerpts on Mortality: “In Fukushima was 14.4%, which was significantly higher than the mortality in Iwamizawa (1.9%–3.2%) [...] The larval mortality of T. nigriabdominalis [...] in the Fukushima population (16.9%) was significantly higher than that in the Sapporo population (1.3%) [...] Comparison with a Hokkaido population suggests that [those] in Fukushima more often fail to develop [...] Such high mortality during development”

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