The purpose of this and future volumes of the Handbook of Genetics is to bring together a collection of relatively short, authoritative essays or annotated compilations of data on topics of~ignificance to geneticists. Many of the essays will deal with various aspects of the biology of certain species selected because they are favorite subjects for genetic investigation in nature or the laboratory. Often there will be an encyclopedic amount o( information available on such a species, with new papers appearing daily. Most of these will be written for specialists in a jargon that is bewildering to a novice and sometimes even to a veteran geneticist working with evolu- tionarily distant organisms. For such readers what is needed is a written introduction to the morphology, life cycle, reproductive behavior, and cul- ture methods for the species in question. What are its particular ad- vantages (and disadvantages) for genetic study, and what have we learned from it? Where are the classic papers, the key bibliographies, and how or mutant strains? A list giving the sym- does one get stocks of wild type bolism for unknown mutations is helpful, but it need include only those mutants that have been retained and are thus available for future studies. Other data, such as up-to-date genetic and cytological maps, listings of break points for chromosomal aberrations, mitotic karyotypes, and hap- loid DNA values, will be included when available.