Life‐history strategies are diverse both across and within species, although the factors shaping this diversity are not fully understood. In the present study, we investigate the life‐history strategies of the marula fruit fly Ceratitis cosyra (Walker) (Diptera: Tephritidae) and how they differ between the sexes. We measure lifespan and age‐dependent reproductive effort in both sexes. In females, reproductive effort is measured as fecundity (egg counts) and for males, courtship behaviour, mating propensity and sperm transfer at ages 5, 15 and 25 days are assayed. Mean ± SE lifespan of flies is 104.6 ± 2.8 days, with females living on average 9 days longer than males. Total female fecundity and time until peak egg production both positively correlate with lifespan. The proportion of males courting and mating is similar at 5 and 15 days, although courtship activity increases and mating success decreases significantly by 25 days. The number of sperm transferred and sperm storage asymmetry are highest at 15 days, with 12 173 ± 826 sperm being stored per female after mating. We also compare life‐history traits in C. cosyra with other tephritids, aiming to determine how niche breadth might contribute to life‐history evolution. In comparison with other tephritids, C. cosyra has a long lifespan and a relatively low lifetime fecundity, although males transfer particularly large numbers of sperm during copulation. These life‐history traits may be associated with the seasonal availability of marulas, which are its preferred native host.