Benzoquinones and Hydroquinones in Defensive Secretions of Tropical Millipedes
- Cite this article as:
- Deml, R. & Huth, A. Naturwissenschaften (2000) 87: 80. doi:10.1007/s001140050014
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.