Letter | Published:

‘Pheromones’: a New Term for a Class of Biologically Active Substances

Naturevolume 183pages5556 (1959) | Download Citation



DURING the past few decades, investigations have been made into various active substances which, though they resemble hormones in some respects, cannot be included among them. For example, the sexual attractants of butterflies are, like hormones, produced and secreted by special glands; minute amounts cause a specific reaction in the receptor organ (the antenna of the male), which eventually leads to a state of copulative readiness. Unlike hormones, however, the substance is not secreted into the blood but outside the body; it does not serve humoral correlation within the organism but communication between individuals.

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  1. Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Munich

    • P. KARLSON
  2. Zoological Institute, University of Bern

    • M. LÜSCHER


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