The aims of this study were to evaluate the chronology of periovulatory events (oestrus behaviour, LH surge and ovulation) in 16 superovulated Manchega sheep and to determine whether follicular status at start of the FSH supply might affect their occurrence. Mean timing for onset of oestrus behaviour was detected at 28.1 +/- 0.7 h after sponge withdrawal; the preovulatory LH surge and ovulation started at 37.2 +/- 0.7 h and 65.4 +/- 0.7 h after progestagen withdrawal, respectively. The intervals between oestrus, LH surge and ovulation were affected by a high individual variability, which might be the cause for reported decreased efficiency in embryo production. Current results also addressed the role of follicular status at start of the superovulatory treatment on the preovulatory LH surge and the ovulation. The interval LH surge-ovulation was increased in ewes with a growing dominant follicle at starting the FSH treatment (32.3 +/- 0.9 vs 28.6 +/- 0.5 h, p < 0.05). The developmental stage of the largest follicle at starting the superovulatory treatment also affected occurrence of LH surge and ovulation; follicles in growing phase advanced the occurrence of the LH surge and ovulation when compared to decreasing follicles (33.0 +/- 1.0 vs 43.5 +/- 1.1 h, p < 0.05, for LH peak and 60.7 +/- 1.1 vs 72.8 +/- 1.2 h, p < 0.05, for ovulation). Thus, only ewes with growing follicles ovulated prior to 55 h after sponge withdrawal; conversely, no sheep with decreasing follicles ovulated earlier than 67 h, when an 85.7% of the ewes bearing growing follicles has ovulated at 63 h.