Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecules from Drosophila mauritiana, D. melanogaster, and D. simulans contain a single adenine + thymine (A+T)-rich region, which is similarly located in all molecules, but varies in size among these species. Using agarose gel electrophoresis and electron microscopy, a difference in occurrence of one EcoRI site, and a difference in size (approximately 0.7 kb) of the A+T-rich regions was found between mtDNA molecules of flies of two female lines of D. mauritiana. In heteroduplexes constructed between these two kinds of mtDNA molecules, two or three regions of strand separation, each comprising single strands of unequal length, were apparent near the center of the A+T-rich region. Using the structural differences between D. mauritiana mtDNA molecules it was demonstrated the mtDNA of this species is maternally inherited. Differences in length of A+T-rich regions were also found between mtDNA molecules of two geographically separated strains of D. melanogaster, and between mtDNA molecules of two geographically separated strains of D. simulans. However, in both cases, in heteroduplexes constructed between mtDNA molecules of different strains of one species, the A+T-rich regions appeared completely paired.