Volatile compounds from anal glands of the wolverine, Gulo gulo

J Chem Ecol. 2005 Sep;31(9):2111-7. doi: 10.1007/s10886-005-6080-9. Epub 2005 Aug 17.


Dichloromethane extracts of wolverine (Gulo gulo, Mustelinae, Mustelidae) anal gland secretion were examined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The secretion composition was complex and variable for the six samples examined: 123 compounds were detected in total, with the number per animal ranging from 45 to 71 compounds. Only six compounds were common to all extracts: 3-methylbutanoic acid, 2-methylbutanoic acid, phenylacetic acid, alpha-tocopherol, cholesterol, and a compound tentatively identified as 2-methyldecanoic acid. The highly odoriferous thietanes and dithiolanes found in anal gland secretions of some members of the Mustelinae [ferrets, mink, stoats, and weasels (Mustela spp.) and zorillas (Ictonyx spp.)] were not observed. The composition of the wolverine's anal gland secretion is similar to that of two other members of the Mustelinae, the pine and beech marten (Martes spp.).

MeSH terms

  • Anal Sacs / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Mustelidae*
  • Volatilization