, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 80-82

Benzoquinones and Hydroquinones in Defensive Secretions of Tropical Millipedes

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 The defensive secretions of two tropical species of millipedes (the spirostreptid Telodeinopus aoutii and a species of Harpagophoridae) contain a complex mixture of closely related benzoquinones and hydroquinones. The major compounds are toluquinone and 2-methoxy-3-methylbenzoquinone, accompanied by the minor components, 2,3-dimethoxybenzoquinone and toluhydroquinone. Because of the large size and the geographic separation of the test animals a common defensive strategy of tropical, large millipedes against predation by vertebrates is assumed.

Received: 30 August 1999 / Accepted in revised form: 20 October 1999