Copy numbers and variation of a clustered long-range repeat family on chromosome (Chr) 1 have been studied in different species of the genus Mus. The repeat sequence was present in all, as inferred from cross-hybridization with probes derived from the Mus musculus repeat family. Copy numbers determined by dot blot hybridization were very low, from three to six per haploid genome in M. caroli, M. cervicolor, and M. cookii. These species form one branch of the phylogenetic tree in the genus Mus. In the other group of phylogenetically related species--M. spicilegus, M. spretus, M. musculus and M. macedonicus--copy numbers ranged from 6 to 1810 per haploid genome. The repeat cluster is cytogenetically visible as a fine C-band in M. macedonicus and as a C-band positive homogeneously staining region (HSR) in several populations of M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus. When cytogenetically visible, the clusters contained from 179 to 1810 repeats. Intragenomic restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), which reflect sequence variation among different copies of the long-range repeat family, increased with higher copy numbers. The high similarity of the RFLP pattern among genomes with C-band positive regions in Chr 1 of M. m. musculus, M. m. domesticus, and M. macedonicus points to a close evolutionary relationship of their Chr 1 repeat families.