Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Defensive Secretions of the Giant Millipede Anurostreptus sculptus (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida, Harpagophoridae)


  • Anuwat Tummanam Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, THAILAND
  • Waraporn Sutthisa Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, THAILAND
  • Widchaya Radchatawedchakoon Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, THAILAND
  • Thierry Backeljau Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels, BELGIUM; Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, BELGIUM
  • Piyatida Pimvichai Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, THAILAND


This paper reports on the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the defensive secretions of the giant millipede, Anurostreptus sculptus (Spirostreptida: Harpagophoridae). The chemical composition of the defensive secretions was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, demonstrating the presence of at least 13 identifiable compounds, including two major compounds, viz. (1) 2,3-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone, and (2) 2-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone, as well as (3) 8 other quinone derivatives, and (4) 3 fatty acid esters, which may enhance the biological effects of the quinone compounds. Antimicrobial activity was tested with three gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus aureus DMST20654), four gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli ATCC25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella ser. Typhi ATCC16122), and two yeasts (Candida albicans and Candida albicans ATCC10231), with streptomycin and fluconazole as positive controls. Disc diffusion assays showed that fresh secretions inhibited the growth of all these microorganisms. In line with this, a broth microdilution analysis indicated that fresh secretions yielded Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of 0.0019 to 0.2500% (v/v) and Minimum Bactericidal/Fungicidal Concentrations (MBC/MFC) of 0.0039 to 0.5000% (v/v), i.e.fresh secretions were more effective in inhibiting yeast than the antifungal medicine, fluconazole. The gram-positive bacteria and C. albicans were also inhibited by three types of extracted secretions with MIC values in the range of 0.25 to 2.00 mg/ml and MBC values of 2.00 mg/ml for gram positive-bacteria.


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How to Cite

Tummanam, A. , Sutthisa, W. , Radchatawedchakoon, W. , Backeljau, T. and Pimvichai, P. 2023. Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Defensive Secretions of the Giant Millipede Anurostreptus sculptus (Diplopoda, Spirostreptida, Harpagophoridae). Tropical Natural History. 23, 1 (Mar. 2023), 42–51.