Allelic frequencies at five polymorphic loci were determined in seven European and six Afrotropical populations of Drosophila melanogaster. African populations, which may be considered as ancestral for the species, showed a greater genetic diversity as measured by the number of alleles found. Within each geographic group (Europe or tropical Africa) genetic distances between local populations were very small (D = 0.027). By contrast, the average distance between European and African populations (D = 0.389) was more than 12 times bigger. It was previously known that various morphological or physiological differences, which probably reflect genetic adaptations to different environments, exist between these temperate and tropical populations. Data presented here suggest that the divergence in allozyme frequencies also reflects some selective mechanisms.