In insects and vertebrates, clusters of Antennapedia class homeobox (HOM-C) genes specify anteroposterior body pattern. The nematode C. elegans also contains a small cluster of HOM-C genes, one of which has been shown to specify positional identity. Here we show that two additional C. elegans HOM-C genes also specify positional identity and that together these three HOM-C genes function along the anteroposterior axis in the same order as their homologs in other organisms. Thus, HOM-C-based pattern formation has been conserved in nematodes despite the many differences in morphology and embryology that distinguish them from other phyla. Each C. elegans HOM-C gene is responsible for a distinct body region; however, where their domains overlap, two HOM-C genes can act together to specify the fates of individual cells.