Abstract

The majority of pheromones identified to date are insect pheromones, which are volatile in nature. Identification of nonvolatile pheromones have been relatively rare, especially in vertebrates. Male and female garter snakes use pheromones to mediate sexual behavior. The female sex attractiveness pheromone of the Canadian red-sided garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis, consists of a novel series of nonvolatile saturated and monounsaturated long-chain methyl ketones, whereas the male sex recognition pheromone contains squalene. These compounds were isolated, identified, and partially synthesized, and field tests show them to be biologically active.

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