Almost nothing is known about the identity of the genes causing reproductive isolation between species. As a first step towards molecular isolation of a 'speciation gene', I mapped and partly characterized a gene causing hybrid male sterility in Drosophila. This analysis shows that sterility of D. melanogaster males who carry the 'dot' fourth chromosome from D. simulans is due entirely to a very small region of the D. simulans chromosome (including only about 5 salivary gland bands or approximately 250 kb of DNA). Thus the hybrid sterility effect of the D. simulans fourth chromosome is almost surely due to a single gene of very large effect (here named hms, hybrid male sterile). Hms is zygotically acting, and the D. simulans allele of hms is completely recessive. Furthermore, complementation tests suggest that hms is not an allele of any known locus in D. melanogaster.