The adult male accessory glands of D. melanogaster synthesize and secrete a peptide that represses female sexual receptivity and stimulates oviposition. Normally, this peptide is transferred to females during copulation; however, the peptide shows the same biological activity after purification and subsequent injection into the abdominal cavity of female virgins. Amino acid sequencing of the purified peptide and oligonucleotide-directed cDNA cloning established that the peptide consists of 36 amino acids. It appears to be synthesized as a precursor with a hydrophobic signal sequence of 19 residues at its N-terminal end. The precursor peptide is encoded by a short mRNA that accumulates exclusively in the male accessory gland. The gene has been localized by in situ hybridization to polytene chromosomes at 70A.