Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in Drosophila simulans was studied to determine whether the cytoplasmic state of mtDNA heteroplasmy persists in natural populations in Réunion. For this purpose, 172 isofemale lines, newly collected from two local populations, were examined, among which three types of mtDNA (siII, siIII and siIII') were found, based on the Hpa II restriction pattern. Ten of the lines were heteroplasmic for a combination of siII and siIII, as determined by autoradiography. The same type of heteroplasmy had been noted in one of the two local populations 8 years before (Satta et al. 1988). The present results suggest that the heteroplasmic state occurs recurrently in natural populations of D. simulans in Réunion.