We have cloned and characterized the Antennapedia (Antp) gene from the grasshopper Schistocerca americana. The Antennapedia protein contains seven blocks of sequence, including the homeodomain, that are conserved in the homologous proteins of other insects, interspersed with (usually repetitive) sequences unique to each species. There is no similarity between 1.8 kb of 3' untranslated sequence in grasshopper and Drosophila. We examined Antennapedia protein expression in grasshopper using an antibody raised against a grasshopper fusion protein and reexamined its expression in Drosophila using several different antibodies. Early patterns of expression in the two insects are quite different, reflecting differing modes of early development. However, by the germband stage, expression patterns are quite similar, with relatively uniform epithelial expression throughout the thoracic and abdominal segments which later retracts to the thorax. Expression is observed in muscle pioneers, the peripheral nervous system, and the central nervous system (CNS). In the CNS expression is initially limited to a few neurons, but eventually becomes widespread. Both insects show strong expression in certain homologous identified neurons and similar temporal modulation of expression.