Sexual receptivity is female behavior that allows or helps a male to fertilize her eggs; through this behavior, females play an active role in reproduction. Multiple signals may be used for receptivity or unreceptivity. Insect species exhibit three ontogenetic patterns of receptivity: cyclic, in which females alternately become receptive and unreceptive; brief, in which females mate during one short developmental period; and continuous. Primary (initial) receptivity may be stimulated or inhibited by diet, ovarian development, or juvenile hormone. In species with cyclic receptivity, remating may be inhibited by copulation itself, the presence of eggs, sperm stored in spermathecae, or seminal factors—usually peptides—secreted by the male accessory glands. In many species, there is substantial genetic variation for both primary receptivity and speed of remating. Several single-gene mutations reduce female receptivity; most of these mutations also impair sensory functioning.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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