Hydroquinones from defensive secretion of a giant Pacific millipede, Acladocricus setigerus (Diplopoda: Spirobolida)

Summary.

The presence of considerable quantities of hydroquinones including hydroquinone, 2-methylhydroquinone, 2,3- dimethoxyhydroquinone, 2-methoxy-3-methylhydroquinone, and 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methylhydroquinone renders the defensive secretion of Acladocricus setigerus (Silvestri, 1897) significantly different from that of other quinone-producing millipedes. In addition, two hitherto undescribed compounds, namely, 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methylhydroquinone and 2-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyphenol, were characterized from the defensive secretion. However, it is uncertain if the latter compound is formed after the release of the secretion. The two major compounds, 2-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2-methoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone, constitute about 75% of the defensive fluid. Furthermore, hydrocarbons, which are typically present in the secretions of most other arthropods that use benzoquinones as repellents, are notably absent in the secretion of A. setigerus.

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Correspondence to Athula B. Attygalle.

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Wu, X., Buden, D.W. & Attygalle, A.B. Hydroquinones from defensive secretion of a giant Pacific millipede, Acladocricus setigerus (Diplopoda: Spirobolida). Chemoecology 17, 131–138 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00049-007-0372-1

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Keywords

  • Chuuk
  • Micronesia
  • millipede
  • Acladocricus setigerus
  • chemical defense
  • benzoquinones
  • hydroquinones
  • 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methylhydroquinone
  • 2-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyphenol