The specification of a germ cell as sperm or oocyte and determination of cell number remain unsolved questions in developmental biology. This paper examines Caenorhabditis elegans FOG-1, a CPEB-related RNA-binding protein that controls the sperm fate. We find that abundant FOG-1 protein is observed transiently in germ cells just prior to their expression of an early sperm-differentiation marker. As the germline tissue elongates, abundant FOG-1 appears more and more distally as sperm become specified, but disappears when the germ line switches to oogenesis. This dynamic pattern is controlled by both globally acting and germline-specific sex-determining regulators. Importantly, the extent of FOG-1 expression corresponds roughly to sperm number in wild-type and mutants, altering sperm number. By contrast, three other key regulators of the sperm/oocyte decision do not similarly correspond to sperm number. We suggest that FOG-1 is precisely modulated in both time and space to specify sperm fate and control sperm number. Developmental Dynamics 236:871–879, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.