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Nigerian Veterinary Journal

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Pheromone and Animal Reproducton: Speciation in Response to the Chemical Signal

ON Nwankudu

Abstract


The first pheromone ever identified in (1956) was a powerful sex attractant for silkworm moths. A team of German researchers worked 20 years to isolate it. After removing certain glands at the tip of the abdomen of 500,000 female moths, they extracted a curious compound. The minutest quantity of it made male moths beat their wings in a 'flutter dance'. This clear sign that males had sensed the attractant enabled scientists to purify the pheromone. Step by step, they removed extraneous matter and sharply reduced the quantity of attractant needed to provoke the flutter dance. Pheromones are substances produced by animals that specifically serve as stimulus to other animals of the same species for one or more behavioural response. While humans are highly dependent upon visual cues when in close proximity, smell also play a big role in sociosexual behaviours. There is an inherent difficulty in studying human pheromones because of the need for cleanliness and odourlessness in human participants. Pheromones are often divided by function into two: Sex pheromones or reproductive pheromones and aggregation or convergent pheromones. For the purpose of this work, sex pheromones are the focus.

Nigerian Veterinary Journal, VOL:33 (2) 511-514



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