Letter | Published:

Dihydroactinidiolide in the supracaudal scent gland secretion of the red fox



IN spite of growing interest in the function of skin glands in mammalian chemical communication1,2, little is known of either the chemical nature or the behavioural significance of the secretion of the supracaudal (tail) scent gland of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). A recent paper3 reports observations concerning the histology and histochemistry of this gland, including findings of unusual fluorescent sebum constituents. In this paper, preliminary gas chromatographic–mass spectrometric data are presented indicating the presence of dihydroactinidiolide (I) and related compounds in this secretion and the significance of this finding is discussed.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Mykytowycz, R., Advances in Chemoreception, 1, chapter 11 (edit. by Johnston, J. W., Moulton, D. G., and Turk, A.) (Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1970).

  2. 2

    Birch, M. C. (ed.), Pheromones (North Holland, Amsterdam and London, 1974).

  3. 3

    Albone, E. S., and Flood, P. F. (in the press).

  4. 4

    Chen, P. H., Kuhn, W. F., Will, F., and Ikeda, R. M., Org. Mass Spectr., 3, 199–209 (1970).

  5. 5

    Müggler-Chavan, F., Viani, R., Bricout, J., Marion, J. P., Mechtler, H., Reymond, D., and Egli, R. H., Helv. Chim. Acta, 52, 549–550 (1969).

  6. 6

    Ina, K., and Eto, H., Agr. Biol. Chem., 36, 1091–1094 (1972).

  7. 7

    Todd, N. B., J. Hered., 53, 54–56 (1962) and refs therein.

  8. 8

    Sakan, T., Isoe, S., and Hyeon, S. B., Tetrahedron Lett., 1623–1627 (1967).

  9. 9

    Isoe, S., Hyeon, S. B., and Sakan, T., Tetrahedron Lett., 279–281 (1969).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

To obtain permission to re-use content from this article visit RightsLink.

About this article

Publication history

  • Received

  • Accepted

  • Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.