Molecular and cytogenetic characteristics are given of a 2846 bp DNA sequence from the YDm12 clone, previously derived from the long arm of the Drosophila melanogaster Y chromosome. Sequence analysis revealed within it a 1176 bp fragment with 37 bp terminal inverted repeats, flanked by 6 bp direct repeats. This fragment (called "element 1360") appeared to be A-T rich, and was saturated with short direct and inverted repeats of different degrees of homology and consensus sequences for transcription, potential Z-DNA transition and autonomous replication. After in situ hybridization to polytene chromosomes, the element 1360 exhibited variable, strain-specifics location in the euchromatic parts of the chromosome arms, but constant heavy labelling of the X chromosome region 12E1-2, autosomal regions 42B1-3, 52A1-2, 62A1-2, 75B, 82C1-3, chromosome bases, the chromocentre and numerous sites of chromosome 4. The possible role of element 1360 in heterochromatin organization is discussed.