Transgenic insect technology will provide opportunities to explore the basic biology of a broad range of insect species in ways that will prove insightful and important. It is also a technology that will provide opportunities to manipulate the genotypes of insects of practical significance to the health and welfare of humans. The Hermes transposable element from the housefly, Musca domestica, is a short inverted repeat-type element related to hobo from Drosophila melanogaster, Ac from Zea mays, and Tam3 from Antirrhinum majus. It has potential to become a versatile and efficient broad host-range insect transformation vector. The ability of Hermes to transpose when introduced into five species of diptera from four divergent families was tested using an in vivo, interplasmid transpositional recombination assay. Hermes was capable of transposing in all species tested, demonstrating that Hermes has a broad host-range. In addition, the rates of transposition were sufficiently high in all species tested to suggest that Hermes will be an efficient gene transfer vector in a wide range of insect species. The Hermes element also revealed a pattern of integration into the target substrate that permitted factors determining integration site selection to be identified. Primary nucleotide sequence of the integration site played a role as did proximity to preferred integration sites and the nucleosomal organization of the target.