Reproductive interference and Satyrisation: Mechanisms, outcomes and potential use for insect control

Christina Mitchell, Stewart Leigh, Luke Alphey, Wilfried Haerty, Tracey Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Reproductive Interference occurs when interactions between individuals from different species disrupt reproductive processes, resulting in a fitness cost to one or both parties involved. It is typically observed between individuals of closely related species, often upon secondary contact. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, Reproductive Interference is frequently referred to as ‘Satyrisation’. It can manifest in various ways, ranging from blocking or reducing the efficacy of mating signals, through to negative effects of heterospecific copulations and the production of sterile or infertile hybrid offspring. The negative fitness effects of Satyrisation in reciprocal matings between species are often asymmetric and it is this aspect, which is most relevant to, and can offer utility in, pest management. In this review, we focus on Satyrisation and outline the mechanisms through which it can operate. We illustrate this by using test cases, and we consider the underlying reasons why the reproductive interactions that comprise Satyrisation occur. We synthesise the key factors affecting the expression of Satyrisation and explore how they have potential utility in developing new routes for the management and control of harmful insects. We consider how Satyrisation might interact with other control mechanisms, and conclude by outlining a framework for its use in control, highlighting some of the important next steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023–1036
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Issue number3
Early online date8 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Interspecific interactions
  • Pest control
  • Pest management
  • Reproductive interference
  • Satyr effect
  • Satyrisation

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