We described the organization of two silkmoth chorion genes, called E1 and E2, whose expression is largely restricted in time to the very late period of choriogenesis and in space to one of two major subpopulations of follicle cells. Using E1 and E2 clone cDNAs as probes, we showed that gene copy numbers per haploid genome remain constant throughout silkmoth development despite major changes in total DNA content per nucleus. Furthermore, gene copy numbers are the same in both cellular regions of the choriogenic follicle despite differences in nuclear size and levels of E gene expression. Southern analysis indicated between two and four copies each for E1 and E2 genes. Analysis of chromosomal clones showed that single copies of E1 and E2 are separated by about 7.5 kilobases and are transcribed from the same DNA strand. Two distinct pairs of cloned E1 and E2 genes were characterized. No other chorion genes were in their immediate vicinity.