Following of conspecific and avoidance of predator chemical cues by pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus)

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The ability of hatchling pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) to follow or avoid the chemical trails of conspecifics and a king snake (Lampropeltis getulus) on paper substrates was investigated in Y-maze experiments. Hatchlings entered the arm with the adult conspecific trail and avoided the arm containing the king snake trail at a frequency much greater than that due to chance. The data support the hypotheses that pine snakes follow the chemical trails of adult conspecifics and avoid the chemical trails of a predator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-806
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


  • Chemical cues
  • Pituophis melanoleucus
  • odor trails
  • pine snake
  • predator avoidance

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