A 1.7 kb long transposable element called TECth1 was found in the 3′ flanking region of aChironomus thummi Balbiani ring gene. As shown by sequence comparison with a second copy, TECthl is characterized by a perfect terminal inverted repeat of 17 by flanked by a duplicated target site of 8 bp, four internal imperfect inverted repeats of 17 to 26 by and terminal regions of about 0.25 kb with a high number of short direct repeats of the consensus sequence ACTTT or permutated and mutated forms such as TTTAC or ACTAT. The terminal inverted repeats and the 8 by target site duplication are reminiscent ofDrosophila P and hobo elements but no long open reading frame starting with ATG is present, suggesting that the two TECthl copies studied represent deletion derivatives of a longer element coding for its own transposase. In situ hybridization revealed about 75 labelled sites distributed over all chromosomes with the Balbiani ring locus most strongly labelled. Fifty percent of the sites are specific for a given individual, and these variable sites are often heterozygous for the element.