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

@article{Weldon2003BenzoquinonesFM,
  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},
  journal={Naturwissenschaften},
  year={2003},
  volume={90},
  pages={301-304}
}
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… 

ANOINTING CHEMICALS AND ECTOPARASITES: EFFECTS OF BENZOQUINONES FROM MILLIPEDES ON THE LONE STAR TICK, Amblyomma americanum

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

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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.
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