Drosophila bifurca

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Drosophila bifurca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Drosophilidae
Subfamily: Drosophilinae
Genus: Drosophila
Species group: Drosophila repleta group
Species subgroup: Drosophila hydei subgroup
Species complex: Drosophila bifurca complex
Species: D. bifurca
Binomial name
Drosophila bifurca

Drosophila bifurca is a species of fruit fly. Males of this species are known to have the longest sperm cells of any organism on Earth, an impressive 5.8 cm long when uncoiled.[1] The cells are mostly tail, and are delivered to the females in tangled coils. A male can only make a few hundred such cells during its lifetime. The other members of the genus Drosophila also make very few, giant sperm cells, with D. bifurca's being the longest. Such sperm gigantism is thought to have evolved via a Fisherian runaway process, with a genetic link between sperm length and the length of the female seminal receptacle length (sperm-storage organ) combined with an increasing competitive advantage of longer sperm as the seminal receptacle evolves to be longer.[2]


  1. ^ Pitnick, S.; Spicer, G.S.; Markow, T.A. (1995). "How long is a giant sperm?". Nature. 375 (6527): 109. doi:10.1038/375109a0. PMID 7753164. 
  2. ^ Lüpold, Stefan; Manier, Mollie K.; Puniamoorthy, Nalini; Schoff, Christopher; Starmer, William T.; Luepold, Shannon H. Buckley; Belote, John M.; Pitnick, Scott (2016-05-26). "How sexual selection can drive the evolution of costly sperm ornamentation". Nature. 533 (7604): 535–538. doi:10.1038/nature18005. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 27225128. 

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