Red Pigments of Dactynotus rudbeckiae and D. ambrosiae[Homoptera, Aphididae]


THE extensive investigations of Lord Todd and his colleagues1 have shown that several related perylene-quinone pigments, the erythroaphins (Fig. 1), can be obtained from many aphid species; the two most completely investigated representatives, the erythroaphins fb and sl, are stereoisomers of the formula C30H22O8. These pigments, however, are not present in the live insect, but are formed through post-mortem enzymatic transformations of yellow precursors, the protoaphins, which do not contain the perylene nucleus1a. In the course of research on naturally occurring perylenequinones2, we have investigated the pigments of two bright red species of-the aphid genus Dactynotus, since it seemed possible that their colour might be due to preformed perylenequinones. Earlier, Todd et al.3 had observed the occurrence of very small amounts of aphin pigments in D.jaceae; D. cirsii, however, was found to contain instead a red pigment which has not been described in detail but which, from its uncharacteristic absorption spectrum, is not a perylenequinone.

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WEISS, U., ALTLAND, H. Red Pigments of Dactynotus rudbeckiae and D. ambrosiae[Homoptera, Aphididae]. Nature 207, 1295–1297 (1965).

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