We describe a transposable element, called Bmmar1, from the genome of the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori. This element has features of the Tc1-mariner superfamily of transposable elements. Bmmar1 was first detected as a fragment in the 5' region of the larval serum protein (BmLSP) gene. Six genomic clones characterized each differed from a consensus sequence by 3-5 insertions and deletions, as well as an average of 2.3% in nucleotide sequence. The genome contains approximately 2400 copies of Bmmar1. Maximum parsimony phylogenetic analysis of the relationship of Bmmar1 and other members of the Tc1-mariner superfamily, based on their encoded transposase amino acid sequences, indicates that it represents a basal lineage of the mariner family. In particular Bmmar1 encodes a D,D37D motif thought to be the catalytic domain of mariner transposases. Bmmar1 considerably increases the known diversity of this widespread family of transposons. A new naming system is proposed for members of the family.