The linkage of adherens junctions to the actin cytoskeleton is essential for cell adhesion. The contribution of the cadherin-catenin complex to the interaction between actin and the adherens junction remains an intensely investigated subject that centres on the function of α-catenin, which binds to cadherin through β-catenin and can bind F-actin directly or indirectly. Here, we delineate regions within Drosophila α-Catenin (α-Cat) that are important for adherens junction performance in static epithelia and dynamic morphogenetic processes. Moreover, we address whether persistent α-catenin-mediated physical linkage between cadherin and F-actin is crucial for cell adhesion and characterize the functions of α-catenin monomers and dimers at adherens junctions. Our data support the view that monomeric α-catenin acts as an essential physical linker between the cadherin-β-catenin complex and the actin cytoskeleton, whereas α-catenin dimers are cytoplasmic and form an equilibrium with monomeric junctional α-catenin.