Arthropod cuticle is composed predominantly of a self-assembling matrix of chitin and protein. Genes encoding structural cuticular proteins are remarkably abundant in arthropod genomes, yet there has been no systematic survey of conserved motifs across cuticular protein families.Two short sequence motifs with conserved tyrosines were identified in Drosophila cuticular proteins that were similar to the GYR and YLP Interpro domains. These motifs were found in members of the CPR, Tweedle, CPF/CPFL, and (in Anopheles gambiae) CPLCG cuticular protein families, and the Dusky/Miniature family of cuticle-associated proteins. Tweedle proteins have a characteristic motif architecture that is shared with the Drosophila protein GCR1 and its orthologs in other species, suggesting that GCR1 is also cuticular. A resilin repeat, which has been shown to confer elasticity, matched one of the motifs; a number of other Drosophila proteins of unknown function exhibit a motif architecture similar to that of resilin. The motifs were also present in some proteins of the peritrophic matrix and the eggshell, suggesting molecular convergence among distinct extracellular matrices. More surprisingly, gene regulation, development, and proteolysis were statistically over-represented ontology terms for all non-cuticular matches in Drosophila. Searches against other arthropod genomes indicate that the motifs are taxonomically widespread.This survey suggests a more general definition for GYR and YLP motifs and reveals their contribution to several types of extracellular matrix. They may define sites of protein interaction with DNA or other proteins, based on ontology analysis. These results can help guide experimental studies on the biochemistry of cuticle assembly.