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The sexual union of two individuals, resulting in insemination or deposition of the male gametes in proximity to the female gametes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) The union of two individuals in sexual intercourse.

(2) The process of the syngamy of two sex cells (gametes). Copulation is usually understood to mean the syngamy of sex cells that are externally almost or completely indistinguishable. If the male gamete differs sharply from the female, the process of their syngamy is called fertilization.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Females may lay their eggs immediately or in the months after copulation, and the oviposition strategies seem to be related to the length of the ovipositor.
Most courtships in the laboratory appear to end in failure with only about 7% of all courtships resulting in copulation. Nearly 25% of the females do not copulate even though some are courted more than 65 times; of the females that do copulate, nearly 50% are courted by at least five different males.
The patterns of sperm precedence, the increased frequency of starting and stopping copulation with less actual time spent in copula of second males, suggests that the second males could not successfully copulate.
Rubbing also occurred after copulation. In one of five copulations male vibrated his legs III briefly as in Epilancha borealis.
The potential costs to copulation have been established relatively well.
Thus, future studies that aim to assess the maximum reproductive potential of species under given circumstances should take into consideration the rate of effective fertilization, number of copulations and pupal weight.
Banana-fed males significantly exceeded the number of copulations achieved by males from T strain, while males from B and C strains were equally successful.
They then "project" their penises and each insert them into the other's vagina and start copulation.
In Cephalodesmius however, there are several copulations during nesting which suggests that this may play a role in the maturation of the female, though we cannot dismiss the possibility of sperm conflict with other males with whom the female has mated previously or the possibility that this is a vestigial behavior resulting from phylogenetic inertia.
Multiple copulations enhance the risk of predation and parasitism, but those have also several advantages (Torres-Vila et al.