The ability to withstand thermal stress in a laboratory population of the blowflyLucilia cuprina (measured as per cent adult survival following varying periods of exposure to elevated temperature up to a maximum of 48°C) was in the order pupa > larva > adult. Pre-exposure to a mild heat shock (37°C) induced tolerance to temperatures which were otherwise lethal. An analysis of heat shock-induced protein synthesis during development at similar elevated temperatures presented patterns corresponding to the above observations on thermotolerance. The induced level of synthesis of major heat shock proteins (viz., 79, 69, 28, 20 and 19 kDa) were greater in larval tissues than in most of the adult tissues except gonads. The response varied between young (2 days) and old (30 days) adults in a tissue-specific manner. In general, heat shock protein 69 kDa was most abundant in all the tissues studied. Control as well as heat shocked Malpighian tubules of adults uniquely showed two major [35S]methionine labelled bands corresponding to approximately 62 and 64 kDa. Immunoblots showed the 62 kDa protein to cross react with an antibody againstHelioihis HSP60. Although the synthesis of the 62 kDa polypeptide was prominent only in Malpighian tubules of adult blowflies, nearly equal levels of this HSP60 family polypeptide were present in all tissues (control as well heat shocked) except the larval salivary glands.