The polytene chromosomes of Rhynchosciara americana and R. hollaenderi, a pair of sibling species in the americana-like group of Rhynchosciara, were compared using a number of techniques, including in situ hybridization. With classical cytological techniques, the only differences observed were in the morphology of centromeric and telomeric heterochromatin, in the size of a DNA and RNA puff, and in the presence of an inversion polymorphism in R. hollaenderi. However, after in situ hybridization with rDNA and poly-r(A) probes, differences between the two species appeared at a number of sites. Differences in poly-r(A) sites were especially informative in establishing phylogenetic relationships between these two species and a third species currently being examined from this group. Chromosomal evolution between these species appears to have occurred mainly through differential amplification and transposition of repetitive sequence DNA, of which dA:dT tracts are an important component. The R. hollaenderi karyotype is tentatively considered more ancestral than that of R. americana because it has features present in the third Rhynchosciara species. Explanations for the monomorphisms observed in Rhynchosciara species and mechanisms of speciation in the group are considered within the context of the species' complex behavior.