Behavioural responses of the Indian gerbil,Tatera indica, to conspecific sebum odour of the male ventral marking scent gland were studied in a glass cage and a plus maze. Male and female gerbils were attracted towards the strange male sebum odour though its magnitude was low in females possessing the ventral marking gland, still lower in the females in which the marking gland was absent. The diversity in preferential behaviour of femaleTatera indica is discussed in relation to the role of ventral marking behaviour in chemical communication among rodents. Correlating the results of the experiments with our field observations, it appears that the function of scent marking inT. indica is more of a ‘familiarisation’ nature to label the habitat for its own use in orientation or to signal ‘home’ to the marking animal.