We have previously characterized a calmodulin gene from the organism Drosophila melanogaster. In the higher vertebrates a multi-gene system for encoding calmodulin is present and, in at least one invertebrate species, genes encoding highly related calmodulin isotypes exist. We have therefore searched for additional calmodulin genes within D. melanogaster. Although our searches were sensitive enough to detect a relatively divergent gene encoding a calmodulin family protein, we were unable to detect any additional genes for calmodulin per se. Further studies of the structure and expression of the single calmodulin gene of D. melanogaster have established that the gene contains a tiny additional 5' exon encoding only 50 residues of the 5' leader. Sequencing at the 3' terminus has established that the two transcript size classes derived from the gene are produced as a result of alternative polyadenylation site usage. The relative abundance of the two size classes of mRNAs differs throughout the life cycle, indicating developmental regulation of polyadenylation site usage.