We carried out a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping experiment in two phenotypically similar inbred mouse strains, C57BL/6J and C58/J, using the open-field assay, a well-established model of anxiety-related behavior in rodents. This intercross was initially carried out as a control cross for an ethylnitrosurea mutagenesis mapping study. Surprisingly, although open-field behavior is similar in the two strains, we identified significant QTL in their F2 progeny. Marker regression identified a locus on Chr 8 having associations with multiple open-field measures and a significant interaction between loci on Chr 13 and 17. Together, the Chr 8 locus and the interaction effect form the core set of QTL controlling these behaviors with additional loci on Chr 1 and 6 present in a subset of the behaviors.