Three of the twenty recessive-lethal tumor suppressor genes of Drosophila cause imaginal disc tumors in the homozygously mutated state. One of these is the lethal(2)tumorous imaginal discs (l(2)tid) gene. Histological preparations show the tumorous imaginal disc epithelium to consist of a mosaic of cells in monolayer and cells in clumped arrangement. In contrast, the wild-type imaginal disc epithelium is comprised exclusively of cells in monolayer arrangement. Mutant imaginal disc tissue pieces implanted into ready-to-pupariate wild-type larvae fail to differentiate. Implantation of l(2)tid imaginal disc tissue pieces in vivo into wild-type adult flies revealed a lethal, tumorous growth comparable to that in situ, thus characterizing the l(2)tid imaginal discs as truly malignant. The phenotypes of double mutants between two l(2)tid alleles and tumor suppressor genes, such as lethal(2)giant larvae and lethal(2)brain tumor, and the epithelial overgrowth mutant lethal(2)fat are described and discussed. Finally, we present the genetic, cytogenetic and molecular localization of the l(2)tid gene to the giant chromosome bands 59F4-6.