The cuticular surface of Drosophila is decorated by parallel arrays of polarized structures such as hairs and sensory bristles; for example, on the wing each cell produces a distally pointing hair. These patterns are termed 'tissue polarity'. Several genes are known whose activity is essential for the development of normal tissue polarity. Mutations in these genes alter the orientation of the hair or bristle with respect to neighboring cells and the body as a whole. The phenotypes of mutations in these genes allows them to be placed in three phenotypic groups. Based on their behavior in genetic mosaics, it has proved possible to determine that individual genes are required either for the generation of an intercellular polarity signal and/or the transduction of that signal to the cytoskeleton.