Vertebrate c-myb encodes a transcription factor thought to play an important role in the cell cycle. To gain further insight into myb function, we have been studying a related gene in Drosophila. We found that Drosophila myb is abundantly expressed throughout development in all mitotically active tissues, at lower levels in some postmitotic tissues, but not at detectable levels in polyploid larval tissues. We performed genetic screens to isolate recessive lethal mutations in the chromosomal region that includes the myb gene. We obtained two temperature-sensitive alleles of myb, demonstrating that the gene provides an essential function. Examination of the mutant phenotype revealed that Drosophila myb is important for both embryonic and imaginal development and that myb serves a role in the development of many tissues and during oogenesis.