Chemical Communication in Social Behavior of a Fish, the Yellow Bullhead (Ictalurus natalis)

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Science  03 Nov 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3801, pp. 672-673
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3801.672


Studies of behavior in yellow bullheads showed that they recognized individuals of their own species by means of pheromones. After training by reward and punishment, blinded bullheads were able to discriminate between the odors of two donor fish, but they lost this ability when deprived of their sense of smell. The main source of the intraspecific chemical stimuli involved in recognition is the mucus. A change in status after fighting was chemically communicated to other bullheads.