We have identified a mutant slowmotion phenotype in first instar larval peristaltic behaviour of Drosophila. By the end of embryogenesis and during early first instar phases, slowmo mutant animals show a marked decrease in locomotory behaviour, resulting from both a reduction in number and rate of peristaltic contractions. Inhibition of neurotransmitter release, using targeted expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeTxLC), in the slowmo neurons marked by an enhancer-trap results in a similar phenotype of largely absent or uncoordinated contractions. Cloning of the slowmo gene identifies a product related to a family of proteins of unknown function. We show that Slowmo is associated with mitochondria, indicative of it being a mitochondrial protein, and that during embryogenesis and early larval development is restricted to the nervous system in a subset of cells. The enhancer-trap marks a cellular component of the CNS that is seemingly required to regulate peristaltic movement.