Current advances in genetic analysis are opening up our knowledge of the genetics of species differences, but challenges remain, particularly for out-bred natural populations. We constructed a microsatellite-based linkage map for two out-bred lines of Drosophila montana derived from divergent populations by taking advantage of the Drosophila virilis genome and available cytological maps of both species. Although the placement of markers was quite consistent with cytological predictions, the map indicated large heterogeneity in recombination rates along chromosomes. We also performed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis on a courtship song character (carrier frequency), which differs between populations and is subject to strong sexual selection. Linkage mapping yielded two significant QTLs, which explained 3% and 14% of the variation in carrier frequency, respectively. Interestingly, as in other recent studies of traits which can influence speciation, the strongest QTL mapped to a genomic region partly covered by an inversion polymorphism.