To date our understanding of Drosophila receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (R-PTPs) in the regulation of signal transduction is limited. Of the seven R-PTPs identified in flies, six are involved in the axon guidance that occurs during embryogenesis. However, whether and how R-PTPs may control key steps of Drosophila development is not clear. In this study we investigated the potential role of Drosophila R-PTPs in developmental processes outside the neuronal system and beyond the embryogenesis stage. Through systematic data mining of available microarray databases, we found the mRNA level of PTP52F to be highly enriched in the midgut of flies at the larva–pupa transition. This finding was confirmed by gut tissue staining with a specific antibody. The unique spatiotemporal expression of PTP52F suggests that it is possibly involved in regulating metamorphosis during the transformation from larva to pupa. To test this hypothesis, we employed RNA interference to examine the defects of transgenic flies. We found that ablation of endogenous PTP52F led to high lethality characterized by the pharate adult phenotype, occurring due to post pupal eclosion failure. These results show that PTP52F plays an indispensable role during the larva–pupa transition. We also found that PTP52F could be reclassified as a member of the subtype R3 PTPs instead of as an unclassified R-PTP without a human ortholog, as suggested previously. Together, these findings suggest that Drosophila R-PTPs may control metamorphosis and other biological processes beyond our current knowledge.