Sexing Fruit Flies

Scientists who work with fruit flies need to be able to tell the difference between males and females. They have to be able to put the right number of each in a vial in order to mate flies (i.e. set up a genetic cross). After all, their experiment would be worthless if they just put a bunch of male flies together! Sexing flies is also very important for analyzing sex-linked traits, because scientists need to know how many males and females there are with a certain trait. Luckily for scientists, sexing fruit flies is relatively easy. Check out the information below to learn for yourself!

Wildtype Female

Wildtype Male

no external genetalia external genetalia
striped, pointed abdomen black tipped, rounded abdomen

Quick Quiz

1. Striped abdomen AND external genetalia are characteristic of which gender?
Male.
Female.
Neither.

2.Females have which of the following characteristics?
Striped Abdomen.
Black Abdomen.
External genetalia.

3.Males have which of the following characteristics?
Striped Abdomen.
Black Abdomen.
External genetalia.
Both B and C.