Programmed cell death or apoptosis is crucial to normal development and tissue homeostasis in multicellular organisms. In many cases malfunctioning of apoptotic pathways has disastrous consequences for the organism, like in the case of cancer, AIDS or neurodegenerative diseases, which all are associated with the inappropriate regulation of programmed cell death. In Drosophila, patterns of programmed cell death have been studied, and it is known that the induction of apoptosis requires the products of three closely linked genes, reaper (rpr), head involution defective (hid) and grim. Although it has been shown that rpr, hid and grim induce apoptosis through similar mechanisms, it is clear that they are not functionally equivalent, since their transcripts are differentially expressed in response to different signals. In this study, I dissected the temporal and spatial expression of the apoptosis promoting gene rpr by generating a series of reporter lines, which recapitulate various aspects of the endogenous rpr expression. Understanding the regulatory logic of reaper transcription will help to advance our knowledge of apoptosis regulation in Drosophila and in other organisms.