Using axenically cultured Drosophila melanogaster, grown on defined medium, the lethal effect of 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine (FUdR) at a concentration of 10-6 M has been ascribed to inhibition of the enzyme thymidylate synthetase; in the presence of dietary thymidine the lethal dose of FUdR is increased 100-fold. Mortality under these higher concentrations is probably due to the effect of FUdR upon RNA synthesis. Larval transfer between media with and without FUdR indicates a prolonged period during larval life when the base analogue is effective, both under conditions where suppression of DNA and RNA synthesis seem to cause death. The response of fruit-fly larvae to FUdR probably reflects the similarity of deoxyribopyrimidine metabolism in Drosophila to that in other organisms. However, finding that deoxycytidine is almost as efficient as thymidine in relieving the killing effect of low concentrations of FUdR suggests that some aspects of nucleotide metabolism in Drosophila remain to be elucidated. © 1974.