The stomatogastric nervous system (SNS) of Drosophila melanogaster is a small, simply organized neural circuitry which innervates the anterior enteric system. It is responsible for regulating the passage of food through the pharynx and esophagus and into the midgut. Here we show that the development of the SNS is amenable to genetic dissection. We screened lines from a P-element mutagenesis, selecting those with lacZ reporter gene expression and/or a phenotype in the SNS, associated glia, and garland cells. We report a collection of expression patterns and mutant phenotypes among lines found to have a mutation in genes required for the establishment of the larval SNS. Our results indicate that SNS development depends on pattern organizer genes including components of the Ras/Raf pathway.