Pheromone  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A pheromone (from Greek φέρω phero "to bear" + hormone from Greek ὁρμή - "impetus") is a chemical signal that triggers a natural response in another member of the same species. There are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology. Their use among insects has been particularly well documented. In addition, some vertebrates and plants communicate

Sex

In animals, sex pheromones indicate the availability of the female for breeding. Male animals may also emit pheromones that convey information about their species and genotype.

At the microscopic level, male copepods can follow a three-dimensional pheromone trail left by a swimming female, and male gametes of many animals use a pheromone to help find a female gamete, for fertilization.

Many insect species release sex pheromones to attract a mate, and many lepidopterans (moths and butterflies) can detect a potential mate from as far away as 10 kilometers (6.25 mi). Traps containing pheromones are used by farmers to detect and monitor insect populations in orchards.

Pheromones are also used in the detection of oestrus in sows. Boar pheromones are sprayed into the sty, and those sows that exhibit sexual arousal are known to be currently available for breeding. Sea urchins release pheromones into the surrounding water, sending a chemical message that triggers other urchins in the colony to eject their sex cells simultaneously.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pheromone" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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