As a further step toward understanding transposable element-host genome interactions, we investigated the molecular anatomy of introns from five heterochromatic and 22 euchromatic protein-coding genes of Drosophila melanogaster. A total of 79 kb of intronic sequences from heterochromatic genes and 355 kb of intronic sequences from euchromatic genes have been used in Blast searches against Drosophila transposable elements (TEs). The results show that TE-homologous sequences belonging to 19 different families represent about 50% of intronic DNA from heterochromatic genes. In contrast, only 0.1% of the euchromatic intron DNA exhibits homology to known TEs. Intraspecific and interspecific size polymorphisms of introns were found, which are likely to be associated with changes in TE-related sequences. Together, the enrichment in TEs and the apparent dynamic state of heterochromatic introns suggest that TEs contribute significantly to the evolution of genes located in heterochromatin.