Cytochrome P450s form a large and diverse family of heme-containing proteins capable of carrying out many different enzymatic reactions. In both mammals and plants, some P450s are known to carry out reactions essential for processes such as hormone synthesis, while other P450s are involved in the detoxification of environmental compounds. In general, functions of insect P450s are less well understood. We characterized Drosophila melanogaster P450 expression patterns in embryos and 2 stages of third instar larvae. We identified numerous P450s expressed in the fat body, Malpighian (renal) tubules, and in distinct regions of the midgut, consistent with hypothesized roles in detoxification processes, and other P450s expressed in organs such as the gonads, corpora allata, oenocytes, hindgut, and brain. Combining expression pattern data with an RNA interference lethality screen of individual P450s, we identify candidate P450s essential for developmental processes and distinguish them from P450s with potential functions in detoxification.