Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 1689–1696 | Cite as

Volatile compounds from interdigital gland of male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  • J. W. Gassett
  • D. P. Wiesler
  • A. G. Baker
  • D. A. Osborn
  • K. V. Miller
  • R. L. Marchinton
  • M. Novotny
Article

Abstract

Interdigital secretions were collected from eight male white-tailed deer of various ages. Analysis of volatiles was performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with a modified headspace technique. Forty-six volatile compounds were found including alkanes, arenes, aldehydes, ketones, aliphatic acids, esters, pyrroles, furans, and sulfur compounds. Eleven occurred in higher concentrations (P≤0.10) in dominant (≥3.5-year-old) than in subordinate (≥1.5-year-old) animals. Dominant males typically have higher serum testosterone levels, and fatty acids and esters fluctuate with sebum production, which is under hormonal control. Therefore, these compounds may reflect testosterone levels and act as chemical signals indicating the presence of a dominant male. Interdigital volatiles also may act as generalized scent trail markers.

Key Words

Interdigital gland Odocoileus virginianus pheromone scent communication semiochemical volatiles white-tailed deer 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Gassett
    • 1
  • D. P. Wiesler
    • 2
  • A. G. Baker
    • 2
  • D. A. Osborn
    • 1
  • K. V. Miller
    • 1
  • R. L. Marchinton
    • 1
  • M. Novotny
    • 2
  1. 1.Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthens
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryIndiana UniversityBloomington

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