Abstract Microdistribution and habitat selection were investigated in a population of Drosophila subobscura near Leeds, Yorkshire. Microdistribution was examined along a transect running through a deciduous woodland. Two main types of habitat were recognized, those with dry soil and a closed canopy of mature trees (dry and dark) and those with wet soil and an open canopy of mature trees (wet and light). Flies were much more frequent, judged by their attendance at baited traps, in the dry/dark habitat. Flies taken from both habitat types, marked with different coloured fluorescent dust and released at a point mid-way between the original habitats, tended to return to their area of initial capture.