In hybrid dysgenesis, sterility can occur in both males and females. At 27.5 degrees, however, we found that P element-induced germline death was restricted to females. This sex-specific gonadal dysgenesis (GD) is complete by the first larval instar stage. As such, GD at 27.5 degrees reveals the sexually dimorphic character of the embryonic germline. The only other known dimorphic trait of the embryonic germline is the requirement for ovo. ovo is required for germline development in females only and has been implicated in germline sex determination. Dominant mutations of ovo partially suppressed female GD. Although embryonic germ cells are undifferentiated and morphologically indistinguishable between males and females, the functional dimorphism seen in ovo requirement and GD at 27.5 degrees indicates that sexual identity in Drosophila germ cells is established in embryogenesis.