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

@article{Valderrama2004SeasonalAW,
  title={Seasonal Anointment with Millipedes in a Wild Primate: A Chemical Defense Against Insects?},
  author={X. Valderrama and John G. Robinson and A. Attygalle and T. Eisner},
  journal={Journal of Chemical Ecology},
  year={2004},
  volume={26},
  pages={2781-2790}
}
Members of a wild group of wedge-capped capuchin monkeys (Cebus olivaceus) intentionally anoint themselves with millipedes (Orthoporus dorsovittatus). Chemical analysis revealed these millipedes secrete two benzoquinones, compounds known to be potently repellent to insects. We argue 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. Millipede secretion… Expand

Figures from this paper

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