Defense of Phalangid: Liquid Repellent Administered by Leg Dabbing

Science  13 Aug 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3997, pp. 650-652
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3997.650


The phalangid Vonones sayi has a pair of exocrine defensive glands that secrete quinones (2,3-dimethyl-1,4-benzoquinone and 2,3,5-trimethyl-1,4- benzoquinone). When distributed, the animal emits the secretion, dilutes it with aqueous regurgitated fluid, and effects dosaged delivery of the mixture by brushing it on the assailant with the tips of its forelegs. Predators such as ants are effectively repelled.