The Tufted(1) (Tft(1)) dominant mutation promotes the generation of ectopic bristles (macrochaetae) in the dorsal mesothorax of Drosophila. Here we show that Tft(1) corresponds to a gain-of-function allele of the proneural gene amos that is associated with a chromosomal aberration at 36F-37A. This causes ectopic expression of amos in large domains of the lateral-dorsal embryonic ectoderm, which results in supernumerary neurons of the PNS, and in the notum region of the third instar imaginal wing, which gives rise to the mesothoracic extra bristles. Revertants of Tft(1), which lack ectopic neurons and bristles, do not show ectopic expression of amos. One revertant is a loss-of-function allele of amos and has a recessive phenotype in the embryonic PNS. Our results suggest that both normal and ectopic Tft(1) bristles are generated following similar rules, and both are subjected to Notch-mediated lateral inhibition. The ability of Tft(1) bristles to appear close together may be due to amos having a stronger proneural capacity than that of other proneural genes like asense and scute. This ability might be related to the wild-type function of amos in promoting development of large clusters of closely spaced olfactory sensilla.