Many genes have been identified that are required for the establishment of the dorsoventral (DV) and anteroposterior (AP) axes of the Drosophila wing. By contrast, little is known about the genes and mechanisms that pattern the proximodistal (PD) axis. Vestigial (Vg) is instrumental in patterning this axis, but the genes that mediate its effects and the mechanisms that operate during PD patterning are not known. We show that the gene defective proventriculus (dve) is required for a region of the PD axis encompassing the distal region of the proximal wing (PW) and a small part of the adjacent wing pouch. Loss-of-function of dve results in the deletion of this region and, consequently, shortening of the PD axis. dve expression is activated by Vg in a non-autonomous manner, and is repressed at the DV boundary through the combined activity of Nubbin and Wg. Besides its role in the establishment of the distal part of the PW, dve is also required for the formation of the wing veins 2 and 5, and the proliferation of wing pouch cells, especially in regions anterior to wing vein 3 and posterior to wing vein 4. The study of the regulation of dve expression provides information about the strategies employed to subdivide and pattern the PD axis, and reveals the importance of vg during this process.