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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Eric Thomas

First Committee Member

Lee Christianson

Second Committee Member

Craig Vierra


Anurans rely mainly on vocalizations for mate attraction while urodeles rely mainly on pheromones. However, the presence of breeding glands suggests that anurans may also communicate with pheromones during reproduction. Previous studies have shown that male Hymenochirus sp. are able to attract females in a Y-maze, most likely through chemical means, but the source of the attractant has not been identified. By exposing female Hymenochirus sp. to choice tests in a Y -maze it was demonstrated that the breeding glands of male Hymenochirus sp. are the source of a mate-attractant pheromone. This study represents the first experimental evidence for a pheromonal function of breeding glands and further supports the idea that anurans utilize pheromones in reproduction. Evidence is also presented suggesting that the mate attraction is temperature sensitive with an upper limit around 30°C.



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