The developmental pattern of gene expression of the Drosophila melanogaster alpha-tubulin family has been examined in detail at both the mRNA and protein levels. Northern data from 16 stages of development have been quantified to produce estimates of pool sizes of each of the alpha-tubulin transcripts through development. The in situ pattern of alpha 67C RNA localization in developing oocytes and early embryos has also been determined. At the protein level, two of the three previously unidentified products of alpha-tubulin genes (alpha 67C and alpha 85E) have been identified. Evidence that protein from the fourth gene comigrates with the ubiquitously expressed alpha 84B is presented. In addition to the primary translational products of the alpha-tubulin genes, an elaborate series of post-translationally modified alpha-tubulins has been resolved. The developmental profiles of both synthesis and accumulation of these alpha-tubulin proteins are described.