We have devised a new in vitro culture system in which cells from dissociated Drosophila leg and wing imaginal discs grow and differentiate. Primary cultures consist of epithelial and fibroblast-like cells, together with some lamellocyte-like cells. These cultures have given rise to continuously dividing leg and wing cell lines, in which epithelial, fibroblast-like, lamellocyte-like and distinct sickle-shaped cells are found. Vesicles composed of epithelial cells form in primary cultures and these differentiate imaginal cuticular structures under the influence of 20-hydroxyecdysone. Two types of cuticle-like material are formed spontaneously in established cultures. One type is present as thin, untanned sheets resembling apolysed pupal cuticle, while the other consists of thicker, tanned material similar to imaginal cuticle.

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