Chemical Communication as Adaptation: Alarm Substance of Fish

  • R. Jan F. Smith


An alarm pheromone (alarm substance, Schreckstoff) is released when the epidermis of an ostariophysian or gonorhynchiform fish is damaged. Conspecifics respond with a fright reaction. The alarm substance and fright reaction are both absent in some specialized ostariophysians. Others, such as blind cave fish, lose just the fright reaction. Some cyprinids, which have abrasive spawning behavior, lose the alarm substance, but not necessarily the fright reaction, during the breeding season. The development and main­tenance of the alarm substance cells may be an example of animal-altruism maintained by kin selection.


Alarm Pheromone Skin Extract Club Cell Alarm Substance Creek Chub 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Jan F. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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