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Phermones in the Animal Kingdom

Aug 27, 2008
We have seen hundreds of peacocks dancing with its beautiful feathers wide open. It's not just because it's raining or the peacock is happy; it is actually trying to attract its partner for mating.

There are different kinds of actions, different modes of attraction in each kind of species to attract its partner. One such is PHERMONES. These are something which you can't see, which you can't feel, which you can't smell. But yes; there presence adds an essence to your life.

These phermones are actually a special kind of chemical messengers emitted by any species which will evoke responses in another individual of the same species.

The scientists have studied the existence of phermones extensively in insects, but higher organisms like pigs and elephants may also emit phermones. It is now known that, human beings also do emit phermones, though not scientifically proved. In past fifty decades, thousands of insects have been chemically elucidated for the structure, composition, function and the capacity of these magical messengers.

ALARM PHERMONES: Though there are too many questions unanswered about phermones, scientists have succeeded in proving their existence in lower organisms like insects. For example, bees use isopentyl acetate as an alarm signal. The "Guard Bees" will raise their abdomen and emit the phermones and these phermones are transmitted by beating their wings faster and continuous.

This will make the entire bee hive aware of the incoming threat. When a bee stings a target, these phermones are deposited on the spot along with the venom which encourages the other bees to attack the target, stinging at the same place. Since the phermones used here are for alarming signals, they are generally called "alarm phermones".

TRAIL PHERMONES: Ants extensively use phermones. When ants return to their nest with the food, they lay down a trail pheromone. This trail attracts and guides other ants to the food. By chance, if the train is cut off in between, by a chalk or some powder etc., the ants will get totally confused. They start wandering randomly or they return in the opposite direction.

QUEEN MANDIBULAR PHERMONES: have you ever seen any "Queen Bee" working?! No. She never does. Honey bee queens always literally are surrounded by a retinue of worker bees. This is mainly because of the phermones emitted by the queen bees from their mandibular glands. These phermones are actually mixture of alcohols and organic acids. These phermones will

- Induce the worker bees to feed and groom the queen bee

- Inhibit the worker bees from building queen cells and rearing new queens

- Inhibit ovary development in the worker bees.
Other than this, the phermones are also found in many other insects like silkworm moths (from which they were first isolated), different species of spiders, millipedes, the turnip moths, gypsy moths, Japanese beetles and a variety of parasitic and symbiotic beetles.

The complex but primitive single celled amoeba Dictyostelium also uses a pheromone to attract others of its kind and follow reproduction.
About the Author
Phermones Guide is a beginners guide for information and resources about phermones. Please visit our website at http://phermonesguide.blogspot.com/
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