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What Are Pheromones?

By pomm79, Apr 3 2015 01:42AM

Pheromones are chemical substances secreted by animals and which serve to communicate with others of the same species. There are different types and they have different functions.

In general, they are captured through the smell or a specialized organ, the vomeronasal organ.

What Are Pheromones?

Basically, they are chemical substances produced by the sexual glands of certain organisms. They are released in their environment and serve to communicate with members of the same species.

This type of chemical triggers in another individual certain series of instinctive behaviors. Check out what are pheromones at

The term "pheromone" was introduced by Peter Karlson and Martin Lüscher in 1959. It comes from the Greek: "pherein" (transport) and "horman" (excitement). 

Currently, the use of this denomination has been popularized to refer to the hormones of sexual attraction, produced by the females of many species (including humans) to attract the male. Learn about pheromones for women 2016 |

But in reality, that type of pheromones is just one type among many.

Types of Pheromones

They are used by living beings for different functions, among which we could name the following:

Alarm pheromone

In some species, such as bees, it serves to communicate to other individuals the existence of a danger and signal the need to flee, or to signal the need for a mass attack.


They serve to delimit the particular territory. A known example is in the urine of dogs and cats, which they mark and recognize as their own.


Used by large communities of the same species, such as bees or ants. Attracts others when they find a source of food.

Regulatory pheromones

Indicate the type of behavior appropriate to the different members of an organization, just as the ants have to the queen and to the workers.

Sex pheromones

They serve to indicate the availability of the female to procreate. There are insect species that secrete pheromones to attract a mate, and that can be captured several kilometers away. 

Not only females secrete pheromones, males also do so, indicating their genotype thus attracting females as far away as possible in kinship. In this way, it is favored that in reproduction there is a genetic exchange that is beneficial for the species. 

Basically, what this type of pheromone promotes is the continuity of life.

There are specific pheromones of some types of insects. For example, the mentioned case of bees (one of the most studied, documented and on which there is a full consensus in the scientific community). These creatures secrete different pheromones according to whether they are the queen bee, the drones or the workers, which indicate how each individual should feed. 


They scare off insects and inhibit their approach to certain places. Half a century ago, man knows this type of pheromones in insects and uses them to his advantage.

In general, pheromones are perceived by other individuals through smell, although it is also known that in various species of vertebrates there is an organ specially designed to capture them, called the organ of Jacobson or vomeronasal organ. In some vertebrate species it is an auxiliary of the sense of smell. 

It is located in the vomer bone, between the nose and the mouth. Within this organ, sensory neurons detect different chemical compounds.

Human Pheromones

They are invisible and undetectable, and when unknowingly inhaled by any adult woman, they will send out a natural chemical signal of sex appeal to women that will compel them towards you, make you irresistible to them.

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