Temporally Patterned Chemical Communication: Is it Feasible?

  • William E. Conner


The temporal characteristics of chemical signals are usually ignored in analyses of animal communication. At best the durability of chemical signals is mentioned and emphasized. It is possible that the communicative role of the temporal characteristics of chemical signals has been underestimated. Using examples from pheromonal communication in moths, evidence is presented that (1) some animals produce pulsed chemical signals, (2) the transmitting medium adequately preserves the temporal pattern of these signals over biologically relevant distances, and (3) the sensory receptors of the receiving animals are capable of detecting the temporal characteristics of these signals. These findings indicate that the temporal pattern of chemical signals merits closer scrutiny, and that pulsed chemical communication is feasible.


Wind Speed Chemical Signal Male Moth Smoke Plume Pheromone Signal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Conner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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