Heat shock response was investigated in three species of the obscura group of the Drosophila genus (D. subobscura, D. guanche, and D. madeirensis) by chromosome cytology analysis and [3H]uridine labeling. A set of eight puffs (2C, 15DE, 18C, 27A, 31CD, 85AB, 89A, and 94A) were induced after heat treatments in each of the three species; 18C, 27A, 89A, and 94A were the most heavily labeled in the autoradiograms after the induced conditions. From the in situ results using the major heat shock genes of D. melanogaster as a probe, it was inferred that the 18C, 94A, 89A, and 27A loci of the three obscura group species are homologous to D. melanogaster loci, which contain, HSP82, HSP70, HSP68, and HSPs encoding for the small heat shock proteins, respectively. When this organization was compared with that of D. melanogaster, fewer evolutionary changes, mainly gene duplications, were found to have occurred in the obscura group species than in the D. melanogaster group. In the three species analyzed in this work, as well as in the other Drosophila species studied, the heat shock genes are distributed on D and E Muller's elements, behaving as single copy genes that do not move around the genome.