The homeotic Antennapedia (Antp) gene of Drosophila is required for the normal differentiation of the thoracic segments during embryonic development and metamorphosis. Antibodies to a recombinant Antp protein were used to localize the protein in whole mount embryos. Antp is expressed in the nuclei of cells of the thoracic embryonic epidermis and several segments of the ventral and peripheral nervous systems. Analysis of Antp expression in mutant embryos revealed three levels of Antp regulation by genes of the bithorax complex, pleiotropic homeotic loci, and Antp itself. The distributions of the Antp and the Ultrabithorax (Ubx) proteins in doubly-labeled embryos suggest that the Ubx protein may be one direct negative regulator of Antp gene expression.