Mutants of the cut (ct) locus can be divided into two classes: viable and lethal. Most of the viable alleles are characterized by varying degrees of scalloping and notching of the wings. One mutant, kinked femur, exhibits kinking of the femurs and failure of wing expansion, but no other changes in wing structure. In heterozygous combination with the other viable alleles, it exhibits complete complementation, but it fails to complement with lethal ct alleles with respect to its viable phenotype. Similarly, all of the other viable ct alleles express a mutant wing phenotype when heterozygous with lethal ct alleles.-Mapping experiments indicate that the lethal alleles, which comprise the majority of all ct mutations recovered, are confined to a small region at the right end of the locus. That this restriction is real and not an artifact imposed by the limited number of lethal mutations mapped in the locus is supported by an examination of the mutant ct(JC20), a presumptive deficiency for the left-most third of the locus. Despite its behavior as a deletion, ct(JC20) is viable, though mutant, in combination with the lethal alleles. The restriction of the noncomplementary lethals to a small part of the locus, distinct from the other ct mutants, suggests a polarity that may define a segment that functions only in cis within the complex.-Based on the comparison of the data with the prediction of several models, we suggest that the left portion of the locus, which contains the viable alleles, defines a regulatory region controlling the expression of the locus, while the segment encoding a polypeptide product is at the right end and only it is capable of mutating to a lethal state.