Skip to main content

Larval yellow perch locations during locomotion assays after exposure to MeHg and PCB126

Cite this dataset

Albers, Janice; Klingler, Rebekah; Carvan, Michael; Murphy, Cheryl (2022). Larval yellow perch locations during locomotion assays after exposure to MeHg and PCB126 [Dataset]. Dryad.


Fish swimming behavior is a commonly measured response in aquatic ecotoxicology because behavior is considered a whole organism-level effect that integrates many sensory systems. Recent advancements in animal behavior models, such as hidden Markov chain models (HMM), suggest an improved analytical approach for toxicology. Using both new and traditional approaches, we examined the sublethal effects of PCB126 and methylmercury on yellow perch (YP) larvae (Perca flavescens) using three doses. Both approaches indicate larvae increase activity after exposure to either chemical. The middle methylmercury-dosed larvae showed multiple altered behavior patterns. First, larvae had a general increase in activity, typically performing more behavior states, more time swimming, and more swimming bouts per second. Second, when larvae were in a slow or medium swimming state, these larvae tended to switch between these states more often. Third, larvae swam slower during the swimming bouts. The upper PCB126-dosed larvae exhibited a higher proportion and a fast swimming state, but the total time spent swimming fast decreased. The middle PCB126-dosed larvae transitioned from fast to slow swimming states less often than the control larvae. These results indicate that developmental exposure to very low doses of these neurotoxicants alters YP larvae overall swimming behaviors, suggesting neurodevelopment alteration.


As described in the journal article, this data was generated by Ctrax tracking software using videos of fish free swimming in petri dishes.  All tracking errors have been corrected in this data and distance and turning angles have been calculated using the movement criteria stated in the manuscript.  This data is the data used to conduct the Hidden Markov Chain models and calculate average individual fish behavior endpoints.


Environmental Protection Agency, Award: G2014-STAR-E1 #83579801

Michigan State University, Award: Clifford Humphrys Fellowship, Ball Fisheries and Wildlife Fellowship, AgBioResearch through USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Hatch project 1014468)

Department of the Army, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Award: W912HZ-17-2-0030