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Definition of Term

alarm substance
(English) Substance poduced in the round or oval alarm substance cells (previously calles "clubcells") in the skin of Ostariophysi (Cypriniformes, Siluriformes) and Gonorhynichiformes, and which is released upon injury of the skin. On scenting the alarm substance members of the same species, and to a lesser extent related fishes, exhibit the fright reaction. The dispersal of the alarm substance apparently normally acts to warn of the presence of a preying predator. The alarm pheromone is hypoxanthine-3N-oxide comprising a purine skeleton with N-O funcitional group and sensitive to relatively weak changes in pH. Also called alarm pheromone.

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