We identified a new gene, stand still (stil), required in the female germline for proper survival, sex determination and differentiation. Three strong loss-of-function alleles were isolated. The strongest phenotype exhibited by ovaries dissected from adult females is the complete absence of germ cells. In other ovaries, the few surviving germ cells frequently show a morphology typical of primary spermatocytes. stil is not required either for fly viability or for male germline development. The gene was cloned and found to encode a novel protein. stil is strongly expressed in the female germ cells. Using P[stil+] transgenes, we show that stil and a closely localized gene are involved in the modification of the ovarian phenotypes of the dominant alleles of ovo caused by heterozygosity of region 49 A-D. The similarity of the mutant phenotypes of stil to that of otu and ovo suggests that the three genes function in a common or in parallel pathways necessary in the female germline for its survival, sex determination and differentiation.