Arthropods dominate our seas, land, and air and have done so for hundreds of millions of years. Among the arthropods, crustaceans present us with a rich history of morphological change, much of which is still represented among extant forms. Crustacea largely interact with their environment via their appendages; thus vast amounts of variation exist among the different appendages of a single individual and between appendages from different species. Comparative studies of crustacean appendage development present us with an important story regarding the evolution of morphology over both relatively short (a few million years) and relatively long (a few hundred million years) evolutionary time scales. Recent studies have used the genetic and molecular data from Drosophila development to try to understand the molecular basis for some of the variations seen in crustacean limbs. Here we review some of these data based on the expression patterns of the genes Ultrabithorax, abdominal - A, Sex combs reduced, and Distal-less.