The locus elav (ella-vee) of Drosophila melanogaster, which is necessary for the proper development of the embryonic and adult nervous systems, has been characterized both genetically and molecularly. This locus has been shown to be transcribed exclusively within, and ubiquitously throughout, the developing nervous system during Hours 6 to 12 of embryogenesis. We present in situ RNA localization data which demonstrate that elav is expressed in the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system of embryos, larvae, pupae, and adults. We also demonstrate that elav is not transcribed in embryonic or larval neuroblasts (the neuronal progenitor cells), or in at least one type of glial cell. These data provide evidence that the requirement for elav function is not limited to the 6- to 12-hr embryonic nervous system and the adult eye and developing optic lobe, but that its function is required for the development and continued maintenance of all neurons of the organism.