Pheromone

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A pheromone is a scent given off by some animals. The scent causes a social response in members of the same species.

There are many types of pheromone, such as:

  • Sex pheromones (to attract a partner): e.g. butterflies and moths
  • Alarm pheromones (to warn the group): e.g. wasps
  • Food trail pheromomes (to let others know what has been found): e.g. ants
  • Territorial pheromones: e.g. cats and dogs
  • Various 'short-term' pheromones cause a rapid but brief behaviour: e.g. releasing a cluster of nymphs, or positioning the body for sex.

All pheromones work by inherited instinct, not by learning. They occur in most animals, but are especially obvious in insects.