The study, reported in the latest issue of Science, found that the bile acid induces preference and searching behavior in ovulated female lampreys.
The secreted bile acid, 7-alpha,12-alpha,24-trihydroxy-5-alpha-cholan-3-one 24-sulfat, was released in much higher amounts relative to known vertebrate steroid pheromones.
| The bile acid signals the male lamprey's reproductive status and location.
| Science |
The authors believe it may be secreted through the gills of these fish.
Hence, the male of this fish species signals both its reproductive status and location to females by secreting a pheromone that can act over long distances.