Pheromones act as attractants and sexual stimulants in most vertebrates. For example, in red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens, female pheromones attract males, and male pheromones increase female receptivity. However, no studies have determined whether male vertebrates produce a pheromone that repels competing males. Through a series of olfactory mate selection tests, we found that sexually motivated male red-spotted newts produce a pheromone that functions to repel other approaching males. Our finding is the first report of a repelling function for pheromones in male vertebrates. The pheromones may act to increase both the sender's and receiver's mating success when the operational sex ratio (OSR) is male biased.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology