In the study of developmental biology, the physical properties and constraints of the developing tissues are of great importance. In spite of this, not much is known about the elastic properties of biologically relevant tissues that are studied in biology labs. Here, we characterize properties of the wing imaginal disc of Drosophila, which is a precursor organ intensely studied in the framework of growth control and cell polarity. In order to determine the possibility of measuring mechanical stresses inside the tissue during development, we quantify the photo-elastic properties of the tissue by direct mechanical manipulation. We obtain a photo-elastic constant of [Formula: see text] .