A hobo-related sequence, Cchobo, with high similarity to the Drosophila melanogaster HFL1 and hobo108 elements was isolated from the medfly. Thirteen PCR-derived clones, which share 97.9-100% DNA identity, were sequenced, seven of which do not show frame-shift or stop codon mutations in their conceptual translations. The consensus sequence has 99.7% DNA identity with the D. melanogaster hobo element HFLI. In a phylogenetic analysis with other hobo-related elements, Cchobo clusters with the HFL1 and hobo108 elements from D. melanogaster and hobo-related elements from D. simulans, D. mauritiana and Mamestra brassicae. These elements may have undergone horizontal transfer in the recent past. The genomic distribution of Cchobo was studied by FISH to mitotic and polytene chromosomes, which revealed that Cchobo is distributed within both the heterochromatin and euchromatin. Intra- and interstrain polymorphisms were detected both at euchromatic and heterochromatic sites. These findings suggest that active copies of the element may be present in the medfly genome.