Hydrogen peroxide as a new defensive compound in “benzoyl cyanide” producing polydesmid millipedes
Hydrogen peroxide was newly and simultaneously demonstrated with well-known hydrogen cyanide as a component of defensive secretions of “benzoyl cyanide” producing polydesmid millipedes. Presence of hydrogen peroxide was successively evidenced by Trinder reagent’s spray with colorless as well as oily smears of defensive secretions containing benzoyl cyanide and hydrogen cyanide by alkaline picrate paper treatment. Linear correlation was demonstrated between quantities of hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl cyanide. By qualitative assay, seven benzoyl cyanide containing polydesmidans (six species of adults and one species of a nymph at stadium I) tested positive to Trinder reagent, indicative of the presence of hydrogen peroxide (together with hydrogen cyanide), while two cyanogenic species without benzoyl cyanide exhibited negative responses to the reagent. Two types of millipedes were elucidated as species of cyanogenic Polydesmida.
KeywordsPolydesmida Benzoyl cyanide Hydrogen peroxide Defensive secretion Millipede Trinder reagent Mandelonitrile oxidase
The Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) Program of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) supported this work. We thank Prof. DeMar Taylor, University of Tsukuba for his careful and critical reading of the manuscript. We also thank Mr. Takahiro Menda for collecting the millipede R. semicircularis semicircularis in Kumamoto Prefecture.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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