The footprints remaining following somatic P-element excision from the Drosophila white locus were recovered and characterized. Two different types of footprints were observed. Over 75% of the footprints were short, composed of 4 or 7 nucleotides of the P-element inverted terminal repeat, and were similar to those found in a previously described plasmid excision assay. The remaining footprints were composed of 14-18 nucleotides of both inverted terminal repeats. These large footprints were indistinguishable from those recovered following germline P-element excision. Enhanced expression of the Drosophila homologue of the Ku70 protein did not affect the structure of the somatic footprints. Therefore, this protein is not a limiting factor for double-strand break repair by nonhomologous end-joining in Drosophila somatic cells.