Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version


Document Type



Evolution 39:3 (May 1985), pp. 638–644.


Copyright 1985 Ary A. Hoffman and Lawrence G. Harshman. Used by permission.


Effects of male Drosophila melanogaster on female fecundity and productivity were examined, considering both females held in containers with males and females exposed to male effects not involving contact. Females were more fecund when male effects were present, and the largest increase was recorded when vials were previously conditioned by males. This effect was probably due to the growth of transmitted microorganisms, which were observed on the laying surface, as further experiments with vials conditioned by virgin females showed a similar increase in fecundity. A male-specific effect was isolated by conditioning bottles containing only agar with males and virgin females. The observation of a male factor that stimulates oviposition without mating is novel and suggests complicated fertility interactions between the sexes.