Abstract We have studied the effects of ovaries, juvenile hormone (JH) and mating on locomotor activity and sexual receptivity of female German cockroaches. Our results indicate that locomotor activity and sexual receptivity are under the same control mechanisms. The ovary served as a negative masking factor for the locomotor circadian rhythm, but did not affect the frequency of locomotor activity. We conclude that JH controls the locomotor activity of females from the following evidence: (1) increasing locomotion of virgin females coincided with an increasing volume of the corpora allata; (2) allatectomy reduced female locomotion significantly; (3) after absorbing the JH analogue (fenoxycarb) through their tarsi, allatectomized females regained their high level of locomotor activity. Since the daily locomotor activity of allatectomized and ovari-allatectomized females changed cyclically with continuous (non-cyclic) contact of fenoxycarb, an unidentified factor which was independent of ovarian development is proposed to regulate cyclic locomotor activity. In addition to controlling the frequency of locomotor activity, JH was essential for the expression of the locomotor circadian rhythm because allatectomy abolished the circadian rhythm expressed in ovariectomized females. Mating significantly decreased the frequency of locomotor activity and the degree of sexual receptivity. The inhibitory effect of mating resulted from the transmission of a mating signal through the ventral nerve cord when sperm was transferred successfully. The mating experiments with allatectomized and ovariectomized females showed that JH was the major factor in regulating the expression of sexual receptivity.