Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Chemical Cues

  • Luan Dias LimaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_842-1



Compounds used by organisms as a source of information to interpret environmental stimuli even though they did not evolve in the emitter for this function.


Organisms obtain information available in the environment through cues, which can be acoustic, chemical, electric, magnetic, tactile, and visual (see “Magnetic Cues” in this book). Chemical cues are compounds used by organisms as a source of information to interpret environmental stimuli even though they did not evolve for this function in the emitter (see “Evolution” in this book). Numerous compounds of several chemical classes can act as chemical cues, including cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) and other molecules such as peptides and proteins (see “Protein”in this book). Like other cues, chemical cues can influence the behavior of a receiver and are sensed by all organisms that use them for varied aspects of life, such as orientation, location of food, nest sites or partners,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Zoologia, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia AnimalUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Lauren Guillette
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada