2,5-Dichlorophenol (from Ingested Herbicide?) in Defensive Secretion of Grasshopper

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Science  16 Apr 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3980, pp. 277-278
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3980.277


The defensive froth emitted by the grasshopper Romalea microptera contains several odorous compounds (phenols, terpenes, benzoquinone), including a chlorinated aromatic compound, 2,5-dichlorophenol. This compound, which is repellent to ants and therefore defensively useful to the grasshopper, probably stems from herbicide or herbicide derivative ingested by the insect with its diet. Although there is precedent for the defensive employ by one species of chemical agents produced by another, no instance was known involving secondary utilization of a pesticide dispensed by man.