Abstract Ecdysteroid titres in whole flies and different tissues of adult male and female Drosophila were determined at various times after eclosion using a radioimmunoassay. The ecdysteroid titre decreased as the flies matured after eclosion. The differences in titre between males and females can be accounted for by their difference in body weight. The ecdysteroids were found to be distributed throughout several tissues. At eclosion not all of the ecdysteroid complement present could be accounted for by that found localised in tissues. After maturation of the flies the ecdysteroids in various tissues can account for the majority of that detected in whole-fly extracts. Ecdysteroids were produced during in vitro culture of various tissues, but the quantities detected were low by comparison with ring glands of wandering 3rd-instar larvae. Neither the ovaries nor the abdominal body walls (fat body) seem to be a major source of hormone, and they are only able to convert minute quantities of ecdysone to the biologically active form, 20-hydroxyecdysone, in vitro. The amounts of 20-hydroxyecdysone present were measured using high performance liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay. We tentatively suggest that the differential experession of the yolk-protein-genes in the fat bodies of males and females does not result from differences in hormone titres between them.