Mutations in the enhancer of seizure (e(sei] locus have been isolated on the basis of their ability to cause temperature-induced paralysis of alleles at the seizure (sei) locus at temperatures at which these mutations ordinarily do not paralyze. This enhancer is specific to the seizure locus and is without effect on other temperature-sensitive paralytic mutants including para, nap, tip-E and shi. This suggests that the enhancer responds specifically to the mechanism of paralysis mediated by the seizure mutations. The e(sei) is a recessive mutation which maps to 39.0 on the left arm of chromosome 3. Deficiency mapping has placed it at 69A4-B5 on the salivary gland polytene chromosome map. When a new enhancer allele was isolated following P-M hybrid dysgenesis, there was a concomitant P-element insertion at 69B. In the absence of seizure mutations, the enhancer mutation causes non-temperature dependent hyperactivity when agitated and interferes with the climbing response. Electrophysiological studies examined the effects of increasing temperature on electrical activity in the adult giant fiber/flight muscle system. Neuronal hyperactivity was seen in both e(sei) and sei single mutant homozygotes, but not in wild type. The hyperactivity was more severe in the sei;e(sei) double mutants. The correlation between the physiological effects and the mutant behavior suggests that both sei and e(sei) cause membrane excitability defects. Since previous work has shown that seizure mutants affect [3H]saxitoxin binding to the voltage-sensitive sodium channel, e(sei) may code for a gene product which interacts with this channel.