Mice can recognize one another by individually characteristic body scents that reflect their genetic constitution at the extremely polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of genes on chromosome 17. Reproductive behavioral manifestations of this sensory communication system include MHC-related mating preferences and neuroendocrine responses that affect preimplantation pregnancy and arise from the MHC-related scent of alien males. We have shown previously that mice can be trained in a Y maze to distinguish the scents of urine of congeneic mice that differ genetically only at the MHC. By means of an automated olfactometer, we now show that rats also can similarly distinguish the urinary scents of MHC congeneic mice. Thus, the mode of individual recognition that depends on scents determined by MHC genes can operate across species barriers.