Insecticidal properties and chemical constitution
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The simpler coumarins are considerably less toxic as compared with the simpler flavones. This could be attributed to the lack of a side-phenyl nucleus in the former. 3-Phenyl and 4-phenyl umbelliferones and their methyl ethers are found to be highly toxic and compare favourably with 7-hydroxy and 7-methoxy-flavones. A large number of related coumarin derivatives have been studied for their toxicity towards fish.