FruitFliesR Documentation

Fruit Fly Sexual Activity and Longevity


Sexual activity and lifetimes of fruit flies


A data frame with 125 observations on the following 7 variables.

ID a numeric vector
Partners Number of female partners: 0, 1, or 8
Type 0=pregnant, 1=virgin, 9=none
Longevity Lifespan (in days)
Thorax Length of thorax (in mm)
Sleep Percent of day sleeping
Treatment 1 pregnant, 1 virgin, 8 pregnant, 8 virgin, or none


Hanley and Shapiro (1994) report on a study conducted by Partridge and Farquhar (1981) about the sexual behavior of fruit flies. It was already known that increased reproduction leads to shorter life spans for female fruit flies. But the question remained whether an increase in sexual activity would also reduce the life spans of male fruit flies. The researchers designed an experiment to answer this question. They had a total of 125 male fruit flies to use and they randomly assigned each of the 125 to one of the following five groups.


The data are given as part of the data archive on the Journal of Statistics Education website and can be found on the page


Hanley and Shapiro, (1994) "Sexual Activity and the Lifespan of Male Fruitflies: A Dataset That Gets Attention," Journal of Statistics Education v.2, n.1