Cell proliferation requires cell growth; that is, cells only divide after they reach a critical size. However, the mechanisms by which cells grow and maintain their appropriate size have remained elusive. Drosophila deficient in the S6 kinase gene (dS6K) exhibited an extreme delay in development and a severe reduction in body size. These flies had smaller cells rather than fewer cells. The effect was cell-autonomous, displayed throughout larval development, and distinct from that of ribosomal protein mutants (Minutes). Thus, the dS6K gene product regulates cell size in a cell-autonomous manner without impinging on cell number.