Using combined gas chromatography/selected-ion mass spectroscopy, the titer of juvenile hormone was determined for whole-body extracts at various morphologically defined stages of the life cycle of Drosophila melanogaster. Only juvenile hormone III (JH-III) was detected. JH-III is present in early metamorphosis but by mid-metamorphosis it is below the level of detection (0.05 pmol/g). It then increases as the pharate adult matures and rises dramatically, beginning just prior to eclosion and reaching 5-7 pmol/g shortly after eclosion. The titer then begins to fall again as the adults mature in both males and females, though the decrease is more rapid in females. Preliminary studies show that low levels of JH-III are present during all the larval instars but are absent from eggs.