Embryos of 171 Drosophila lines carrying a P-lacZ insertion on the second or third chromosome were analyzed regarding their pattern of lacZ expression. All lines were selected from a larger screen of about 4000 lines (Bier et al. 1989). Tissue specificity and time of onset of lacZ expression was documented for each line. Thereby, a comprehensive list of markers for the various tissue and cell types of the Drosophila embryo could be assembled. With the help of several P-lacZ lines the development of a number of structures was studied which so far had been described only insufficiently or not at all. In particular, the embryonic origin and early development of the oenocytes, imaginal discs, histoblasts, fat body, dorsal vessel, and perineurial cells was analyzed. Several previously unknown cell types associated with the dorsal vessel, trachea, and epidermis were discovered. By combining data regarding the origin of the different mesodermally derived organs it was possible to generate in some detail a fate map of the mesoderm of the stage 11 Drosophila embryo.