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Offspring sex-ratios are stable across the life-course in Drosophila simulans

Cite this dataset

Archer, C. Ruth et al. (2020). Offspring sex-ratios are stable across the life-course in Drosophila simulans [Dataset]. Dryad.


Within populations, adult sex ratios influence population growth and extinction risk, mating behaviors and parental care. Additionally, sex ratio adjustment can have pronounced effects on individual fitness. Accordingly, it is important that we understand how often, and why, offspring sex ratios deviate from parity. In Drosophila melanogaster, females appear to improve their fitness by producing fewer sons when paired with older males. However, facultative sex ratio adjustment in D. melanogaster is controversial, and our understanding of how sex ratio skew affects fitness is hampered by pronounced sexual conflict in this species. Additionally, it is unclear if maternal age or quality interact with paternal age to influence offspring sex ratios. Here, we test whether offspring sex ratios vary as a function of maternal quality, and maternal and paternal age in Drosophila simulans, a sister species of D. melanogaster that lacks overt sexual conflict. We find that offspring sex ratios are slightly male biased overall, but constant across the female life-course, and independent of female quality, or paternal age. To really understand if, how and when females skew offspring sex ratios, we need studies linking offspring sex ratios to male and female phenotypes that are predicted to shift optimal investment in sons and daughters.


The raw data are attached and data collection methods are described in the manuscript. Please feel free to get in touch if any questions.

Usage notes

Each sheet in the file attached has a key that should be sufficient for users to interpret the data. If not, please do get in touch. Ruth Archer –