Genetic and molecular results are here presented revealing that the dissonance (diss) courtship song mutation is an allele of the no-on- transient-A (nonA) locus of Drosophila melanogaster. diss (now called nonAdiss) was originally isolated as a mutant with aberrant pulse song, although it was then noted to exhibit defects in responses to visual stimuli as well. The lack of transient spikes in the electroretinogram (ERG) and optomotor blindness associated with nonAdiss are shown to be similar to the visual abnormalities caused by the original nonA mutations. nonAdiss failed to complement either the ERG or optomotor defects associated with four other nonA mutations. However, all four of these nonA mutants--which were isolated on visual criteria alone--sang a normal courtship song. nonAdiss complemented at least three of the nonA mutations with regard to the singing phenotype, as assessed by a new method for temporal analysis of the male's pulse song. Both visual and song abnormalities caused by nonAdiss were rescued by P-element- mediated transformation with overlapping 11 and 16 kilobase (kb) fragments of genomic DNA (originally cloned from the nonA locus by Jones and Rubin, 1990). Analysis of behavioral phenotypes in transformed flies carrying mutagenized versions of the 11 kb genomic fragment (in a nonAdiss genomic background) localized the rescuing DNA to a region containing an open reading frame that encodes a polypeptide (NONA) with similarity to a family of RNA-binding proteins. Immunohistochemical determination of NONA's spatial and temporal expression revealed that it is localized to the nuclei of cells in many neural and non-neural tissues, at all stages of the life cycle after very early in development. Genetic connections between the control of two quite different behaviors--reproductive and visual--are discussed, along with precedences for generally expressed gene products playing roles in specific behaviors.