Pheromones are chemicals that are released by an organism. On detecting these pheromones the biology and behaviour of another organism, usually a member of the same species, is affected.

For example, the female Vapourer Moth (Orgyia antiqua) is flightless and cannot search for a mate. This means that males must search for the females. In order to make themselves easier to find the female moths produce a pheromone. The males detect this pheromone using long feathery antennae and follow the pheromone trail to the female moth.

A photograph of a female Vapourer Moth.

A photograph of a female Vapourer Moth.
Photograph by Grmanners licensed under Creative Commons.

Related terms

See other words beginning with P

Browse terms by A-Z

Back to Glossary

If you have found this glossary useful please consider supporting the Amateur Entomologists' Society by becoming a member or making a donation.