Phosphoinositides regulate myriad cellular processes, acting as potent signaling molecules in conserved signaling pathways and as organelle gatekeepers that recruit effector proteins to membranes. Phosphoinositide-generating enzymes have been studied extensively in yeast and cultured cells, yet their roles in animal development are not well understood. Here, we analyze Drosophila melanogaster phosphatidylinositol (PI) 4-kinase IIIα (PI4KIIIα) during oogenesis. We demonstrate that PI4KIIIα is required for production of plasma membrane PI4P and PI(4,5)P2 and is crucial for actin organization, membrane trafficking and cell polarity. Female germ cells mutant for PI4KIIIα exhibit defects in cortical integrity associated with failure to recruit the cytoskeletal-membrane crosslinker Moesin and the exocyst subunit Sec5. These effects reflect a unique requirement for PI4KIIIα, as egg chambers from flies mutant for either of the other Drosophila PI4Ks, fwd or PI4KII, show Golgi but not plasma membrane phenotypes. Thus, PI4KIIIα is a critical regulator of a functionally distinct pool of PI4P that is essential for PI(4,5)P2-dependent processes in Drosophila development.