Organ size and pattern results from the integration of two positional information systems. One global, encoded by the Hox genes, links organ type with position along the main body axis. Within specific organs, local information is conveyed by signaling molecules that regulate organ growth and pattern. The mesothoracic (T2) wing and the metathoracic (T3) haltere of Drosophila represent a paradigmatic example of this coordination. The Hox gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx), expressed in the developing T3, selects haltere identity by, among other processes, modulating the production and signaling efficiency of Dpp, a BMP2-like molecule that acts as a major regulator of size and pattern. Still, the mechanisms of the Hox-signal integration even in this well-studied system, are incomplete. Here we have investigated this issue by studying the expression and function of the Six3 transcription factor optix during the development of the Drosophila wing and haltere development. We find that in both organs Dpp defines the expression domain of optix through repression, and that the specific position of this domain in wing and haltere seems to reflect the differential signaling profile among these organs. We show that optix expression in wing and haltere primordia is conserved beyond Drosophila in other higher diptera. Despite the similar expression pattern, optix plays different roles in wing and haltere. In the wing, optix is required for the growth of the most anterior/proximal region (the marginal cell) and for the correct formation of sensory structures along the proximal anterior wing margin. In contrast, in the haltere optix is necessary for the suppression of sensory bristles without any noticeable effect on organ growth. Therefore, optix shows an organ-specific function. Beyond dipterans, optix expression in the anterior wing has been shown also in butterflies. We propose that the ancestral role of optix might have been structural in the anterior wing. Once expressed in the wing, optix expression had been re-deployed for wing spot formation in other parts of the wing of Heliconius butterflies.