Pheromones play a curcial role in mate stimulation and discrimination. In the fruit fly Drosophila, the most abundant cuticular hydrocarbons act as sex pheromones during courtship behavior. There are several active molecules and they compose a sex‐ and species‐specific pheromonal bouquet. Different species from the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup have adopted alternative systems of chemical mate recognition. Recent exploration of these interspecific variations, and of intraspecific variations, has led to the characterization of genes and to the mapping of structures that process the production and perception of chemical messages.