The fasciclin I, II, and III glycoproteins are expressed on different subsets of axon bundles (fascicles) in insect embryos and are thus candidates for surface recognition molecules involved in growth cone guidance. Here we present the sequence of grasshopper fasciclin I and the identification and sequence of the Drosophila fasciclin I homolog. In both species, fasciclin I appears to be an extrinsic membrane protein with a signal sequence but no transmembrane region; the protein comprises four homologous domains of approximately 150 amino acids each. Antibodies against Drosophila fasciclin I reveal that it is expressed on the surface of a subset of commissural axon pathways in the embryonic central nervous system and on all sensory axon pathways in the peripheral nervous system. This pattern of expression is similar to that in grasshopper.