The ocelli are three simple photoreceptors on the vertex of the fruit fly head. We sought to identify the gene encoded by the classical ocellar mutant, reduced ocelli (rdo). Deficiency and inversion breakpoint mapping and P-element induced male recombination analyses were performed and Pray For Elves (PFE; CG15151; Fbgn0032661) emerged as a promising candidate for the rdo phenotype. The PFE locus maps to polytene region 36E on chromosome 2L between elfless (Fbgn0032660) and Arrestin 1 (Fbgn0000120). FlyBase annotation predicts that PFE encodes a serine/threonine kinase, yet protein prediction programs revealed no kinase domain. These analyses suggest that PFE simply encodes a leucine rich repeat molecule of unknown function, but presumably functions in nervous system protein-protein interaction. Two classical spontaneous alleles of rdo, rdo(1) and rdo(2), were characterized and the underlying mutations result from a small deletion spanning exon 1/intron 1 and a B104/roo insertion into the 3'UTR of PFE, respectively. Transposase-mediated excisions of several P-elements inserted into the PFE locus revert the rdo phenotype and a full-length PFE cDNA is sufficient to rescue rdo. A Gal4 enhancer trap reveals a broad adult neural expression pattern for PFE. Our identification and initial characterization of the rdo locus will contribute to the understanding of neurogenesis and neural development in the simple photoreceptors of the Drosophila visual system.