This study aimed to analyse the relationship between rabbit semen characteristics and semen fertilising ability after insemination, which is generally found to be weak. Our hypothesis was that using high semen dilutions (1 : 19), non-oestrus-stimulated does, and homospermic inseminations would make it easier to predict semen fertilising ability. Semen characteristics were evaluated on 275 ejaculates of 128 INRA1001 bucks, distributed into five successive batches. A total of 1970 inseminations were performed. The continuous semen variables were subdivided into three classes of similar size to account for any non-linear relationship between semen characteristics and fertilising ability. Mass motility was divided into two classes according to the presence or absence of waves under microscope observation. Libido, the presence or absence of gel, volume, percentage of progressive sperms, curvilinear velocity, beat frequency of the flagellum, and straightness and linearity of sperm movement did not affect fertility, prolificacy or productivity. It was confirmed that mass motility, estimated by visual observation under the microscope, significantly influenced fertility as well as the percentage of motile and of rapid sperms, and the amplitude of lateral head displacement, estimated by a computer-assisted semen analysis system. To a lesser extent, the percentage of motile cells and of rapid cells significantly influenced prolificacy. Consequently, mass motility and the percentage of motile cells significantly influenced rabbit doe productivity (+1 live births/AI when the semen showed at least a beginning of wave movement, or when the percentage of motile cells was >84%). Interestingly, a gain of 1.5 rabbits was observed when the percentage of rapid cells changed from 64% to 79%, whereas productivity significantly dropped beyond 83% of rapid cells, reflecting a non-linear relationship.