Secretions of Opilionids, Whip Scorpions and Pseudoscorpions

  • T. Eisner
  • D. Alsop
  • J. Meinwald
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology / Handbuch der experimentellen Pharmakologie book series (HEP, volume 48)


The opilionids (order Opiliones), whip scorpions (order Uropygi), and pseudoscorpions (order Pseudoscorpiones), all belong to the class Arachnida. Within the class, the three orders are not particularly closely related to one another, and they are treated together here merely as a matter of convenience. The opilionids, with some 3000 known species (LEVI et al., 1968), comprise the largest of these orders. The pseudoscorpions include about 1500 described species (WEYGOLDT, 1969), and the whip scorpions only about 70 (LEVI et al., 1968). The glands of opilionids and whip scorpions are purely defensive devices, whose dischargeable contents serve to repel enemies. Pseudoscorpions produce injectable poisons, employed supposedly only for immobilization of prey. Chemical studies have been done on the secretion of only one whip scorpion and relatively few opilionids. Nothing is known about the chemistry of pseudoscorpion venom. The summary that follows stresses the more recent work.


Mandibular Gland Caprylic Acid Defensive Secretion Live Insect Gland Opening 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Eisner
    • 1
  • D. Alsop
    • 2
  • J. Meinwald
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Neurobiology and Behavior, Division of Biological SciencesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyQueens CollegeFlushingUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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