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Elongation factor-1α (EF-1α) promotes the delivery of aminoacyl-tRNA to the acceptor site of the ribosome during protein synthesis. The enzyme has a number of additional functions, including regulation of apoptosis and interaction with the cytoskeleton. We determined the distribution of EF-1α in larval tissues of the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, with a monoclonal antibody generated to EF-1α from Sf21 cells, a cell line developed from ovarian tissue of S. frugiperda. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that EF-1α comprised 1.9–9.9 % of the total protein within the tissues that were examined, which included fat body, Malpighian tubules, midgut, muscle, salivary glands, trachea, and ventral nerve cord. To a certain extent, EF-1α concentrations reflected the expected metabolic activity level of each of the represented tissues. Closer examination by immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that EF-1α concentrations varied among different cell types within a given tissue, i.e. midgut columnar epithelial cells yielded strong signals, while goblet cells failed to react with the EF-1α -specific antibody.