Benzoquinones from millipedes deter mosquitoes and elicit self-anointing in capuchin monkeys (Cebus spp.)

  title={Benzoquinones from millipedes deter mosquitoes and elicit self-anointing in capuchin monkeys (Cebus spp.)},
  author={Paul J. Weldon and Jeffrey R Aldrich and Jerome Anthony Klun and James E. Oliver and Mustapha Debboun},
Neotropical monkeys of the genus Cebus anoint themselves by rubbing arthropods and plants against their pelage. A recent study has shown that free-ranging wedge-capped capuchin monkeys (C. olivaceus) in Venezuela self-anoint with a benzoquinone-secreting millipede, an activity by which they are hypothesized to appropriate chemical deterrents of mosquitoes. To evaluate the plausibility of this hypothesis, female yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) were presented with two millipede secretory… 


It is indicated that benzoquinones appropriated via anointing may reduce the tick loads of free-ranging animals, although key questions remain on the amounts of these compounds available to and effectively appropriated by anointed animals.

Anointing with commercial insect repellent by free-ranging Cebus capucinus in Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica

Fur rubbing or anointing is a well known behavior in capuchin monkeys (Cebus and Sapajus), and may have medicinal and/or social functions. Observations of anointing in capuchins have recorded the

Wild Blonde Capuchins (Sapajus flavius) Perform Anointing Behaviour Using Toxic Secretions of a Millipede (Spirobolida: Rhinocricidae).

The social nature of the behavior and time of the observations (mosquito season), suggest that social bonding and mosquito avoidance is linked to the anointing behavior of the monkeys.

Prey-rolling behavior of coatis (Nasua spp.) is elicited by benzoquinones from millipedes

Coatis (Nasua spp.), gregarious, omnivorous carnivores that range in forests from the southwestern USA to south America, dispatch millipedes by rolling them on the ground using rapid, alternating

A common pumiliotoxin from poison frogs exhibits enantioselective toxicity against mosquitoes

Female yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) were tested for responses to 8-hydroxy-8-methyl-6-(2′-methylhexylidene)-1-azabicyclo[4.3.0]nonane, designated pumiliotoxin 251D, a skin alkaloid present in all genera of dendrobatids and in other anurans and to its unnatural enantiomer, PTX (−)-251D.

Potential self-medication using millipede secretions in red-fronted lemurs: combining anointment and ingestion for a joint action against gastrointestinal parasites?

It is proposed that anointing combined with the ingestion of millipedes’ benzoquinone secretions by red-fronted lemurs may act in a complementary fashion against gastrointestinal parasite infections, and more specifically Oxyuridae nematodes, providing both prophylactic and therapeutic effects.

Millipedes as Food for Humans: Their Nutritional and Possible Antimalarial Value—A First Report

The possibility that benzoquinones may act as insect-repellents, as known from studies on nonhuman primates, and that sublethal cyanide ingestion may enhance human innate resistance to malaria, suggests promising ethnomedical perspectives to the findings.

Repellent Efficacy of Formic Acid and the Abdominal Secretion of Carpenter Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Against Amblyomma Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae)

The results suggest that the anting behavior of capuchin monkeys, and other vertebrates, may be related with repellence of ticks and other ectoparasites.

Self-anointing behavior in free-ranging spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in Mexico

The data and the observation that the leaves of all three plant species spread an intensive and aromatic odor when crushed support the hypothesis that self-anointing in A. geoffroyi may play a role in the context of social communication, possibly for signaling of social status or to increase sexual attractiveness.



Seasonal Anointment with Millipedes in a Wild Primate: A Chemical Defense Against Insects?

It is argued that the secretion that rubs off on the monkeys in the course of anointment provides protection against insects, particularly mosquitoes (and the bot flies they transmit) during the rainy season.

Common Grackle Anting with Lime Fruit and Its Effect on Ectoparasites

In short, anting with substitutes may combat ectoparasites, just as the insertion of green vegetation in nests by birds is known to reduce ectoparsite levels (Clark and Mason 1985, 1988).

Why Do Female Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Feed Preferentially and Frequently on Human Blood?

The hypothesis that feeding on human blood is associated with a selective advantage for Ae.

Defensive Secretions of Millipeds

The millipeds, comprising the arthropodan class Diplopoda, are an ancient group dating back to Devonian times, and they have held their own to this day, despite the evolutionary diversification of those very animals, the vertebrates, insects, and arachnids, that have come to include the primary predacious enemies of milliped.

Defensive secretion of the tenebrionid beetle,Blaps mucronata: Physical and chemical determinants of effectiveness

The hydrocarbon 1p-n-tridecene is shown to be optimally suited as carrier of the quinones, and as a surfactant that promotes spread of secretion over the beetle's body following discharge from the gland openings at the abdominal tip.

Fur rubbing: Use of medicinal plants by capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus)

It is suggested that free‐ranging nonhuman primates use plants topically for their potential medicinal purposes.

Composition of the Odorous Secretion of Tribolium Castaneum

The abdominal and thoracic odoriferous glands of adult flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), T. confusum J. du V., and T. destructor Uyttenb., contain a pungent, irritating liquid (Roth, 1943;

Effect of Components of Conditioned Medium on Behavior in Tribolium confusum

  • J. Ogden
  • Biology
    Physiological Zoology
  • 1969
Other studies have shown that a major stimulus to dispersal and aggregation in flour beetles of the genus Tribolium is olfactory, related in some way to the "conditioning" of medium by various

Similarities, differences, and seasonal patterns in the diets ofEulemur rubriventer andEulemur fulvus rufus in the Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

  • D. Overdorff
  • Environmental Science
    International Journal of Primatology
  • 2005
It is suggested that subtle, consistent differences in diet and seasonal dietary differences are sufficient to allow these two species to coexist.

Host-Finding and Repulsion of Aedes aegypti

Abstract The spontaneous activation of Aedes aegypti, and their responses to external stimuli (especially changes in temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide concentration) have been analyzed in a