The earwig Doru taeniatum (Dermaptera, Forficulidae) has a pair of defensive glands, opening on the 4th abdominal tergite, from which it discharges a spray when disturbed. It aims the discharges by revolving the abdomen, a maneuver that enables it simultaneously to use its pincers in defense. The secretion contains two quinones (methyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2,3-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone) present in the glands as a crystalline mass, together with pentadecane and a (presumably) aqueous phase. The gland openings are minute, with the result that virtually no quinone crystals are expelled with the spray. Only the two liquid phases are discharged, together with the ca. 1% quinone they carry in solution. Such a solute-economizing discharge mechanism appears to be without parallel among insect defensive glands.
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