Adults and nymphs of the Peruvian stick insect Oreophoetes peruana (order Phasmatodea) have a pair of thoracic glands from which they discharge a malodorous fluid when disturbed. The secretion contains a single volatile component, quinoline. Quinoline has not been reported previously from an animal source. The compound proved repellent or topically irritant in assays with ants, spiders, cockroaches and frogs. O. peruana nymphs, at molting, do not extricate the shed cuticular lining of the glands, thereby managing not to lose their secretory supply when they cast their skin. They are able, as a consequence, to discharge secretion even while still teneral after molting.
Defensive production of quinoline by a phasmid insect (Oreophoetes peruana).
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T Eisner, R C Morgan, A B Attygalle, S R Smedley, K B Herath, J Meinwald; Defensive production of quinoline by a phasmid insect (Oreophoetes peruana).. J Exp Biol 1 October 1997; 200 (19): 2493–2500. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.200.19.2493
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