[en] In the rat, dopamine (DA) facilitates male copulatory behavior. Indirect evidence based largely on neuroanatomical data suggest that in quail DA is also implicated in the control of male reproductive behavior but there is no pharmacological evidence to support this conclusion. To test this idea, castrated testosterone (T)-treated male quail were injected with various doses of the dopaminergic agonist apomorphine (APO) in the range 1-10,000 micrograms/kg. The sexual behavior of birds was recorded starting 15 min after APO injection for a duration of 30 min. A dose-dependent inhibition of male reproductive behavior that lasted for the entire duration of the test was observed. In a second experiment, gonadectomized T-treated male Japanese quail were injected daily with APO (0, 10, or 1,000 micrograms/kg) during 8 days. Their sexual interactions with a partner were quantified either 24 h or 15 min after the last injection. No influence of the treatment on copulatory behavior was observed 24 h after the last injection, but a strong inhibition was present when the test was performed 15 min after. To research whether the inhibitory effects of APO were due to a preferential action on D2 presynaptic autoreceptors, male quail were pretreated with two different D2 antagonists (spiperone or pimozide; 0.5 or 2 mg/kg) before being injected with APO (100 micrograms or 1 mg/kg). Spiperone facilitated male sexual behavior but did not suppress the inhibitory effect of APO. No significant effect of pimozide was observed. These results support the notion that DA modulates male sexual activity in the Japanese quail. The specific role of the different dopaminergic receptor subtypes remains, however, to be elucidated.