Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for variation in sternopleural bristle number in crosses between the laboratory lines of Drosophila melanogaster OregonR and CantonS were mapped using information from allele frequency changes of two families of retrotransposon markers in divergently selected populations. QTL effects and positions were inferred by likelihood, using transition matrix iteration and Monte Carlo interval mapping. Individuals from the selected population were genotyped for markers spaced at an average distance 4.4 cM. Four QTLs of moderate effect ranging from 0.6 to 1.32 bristles accounted for most of the selection response. A permutation test of the correspondence between the mapped QTLs and the positions of bristle number candidate genes suggested that alleles at these candidate genes were no more strongly associated with selected changes in marker allele frequency than were randomly chosen positions in the genome.