Adaptive modulation of sperm production rate in Drosophila bifurca, a species with giant sperm

Adam Bjork, Romano Dallai, Scott Pitnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Sperm have traditionally been regarded as energetically cheap and effectively limitless in supply, although evidence conflicting with this view has become increasingly abundant. For instance, males from a variety of taxa have been shown to strategically partition sperm across ejaculates in response to perceived sperm competition risk. It follows that males might also be predicted to adaptively modulate the rate at which sperm are produced. Here we show that, in the giant sperm producing fruitfly Drosophila bifurca, solitary males with infrequent access to females produce sperm at a much lower rate than males raised in association with females and other males. Our results support the prediction that males with little risk of sperm competition risk or few mating opportunities should divert resources away from gamete production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-519
Number of pages3
JournalBiology letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 22 2007


  • Drosophila bifurca
  • Sociosexual situation
  • Sperm competition
  • Sperm production rate
  • Spermatogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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