Some definitions

What are pheromones? what are they for? What types of pheromones can be found? What is semiochemistry? Discover these natural chemicals

Definition: Pheromones

Pheromones are natural chemicals emitted by most living beings that act as messengers between individuals of the same species.

Pheromones are natural chemicals emitted by most living beings

Unlike other communication signals (especially smells) pheromones do not involve any learning phenomena, their action is innate. Extremely active, they act in infinitesimal quantities, so they can be detected, or even transported, several kilometres away.

We can distinguish several types of pheromones allowing different types of communication:

  • Soothing pheromones

  • Sexual pheromones

  • Territorial marking pheromones

  • Warning pheromones

Definition: Semiochemistry

Semiochemistry brings together all the natural chemical signals emitted by living beings that allow them to communicate.

There are two main types of signals:

  • “Pheromones”, messages within the same species (example: sow — piglet)

  • The “allelochemicals” messages between different species (example: red lice — chickens)

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