We describe the isolation and preliminary characterization of a new Gα gene (dgq) in Drosophila. The dgq gene is differentially spliced, yielding two putative proteins, both of which contain guanine nucleotide binding and hydrolysis domains and share 50% identity with transducins and other G proteins. These proteins represent a new class of Gα subunits because they lack both high amino acid identity with other Gα proteins and the pertussis toxin ADP ribosylation site. The dgq mRNA is detected by RNA-RNA Northern hybridization in wild-type heads but not in wild-type bodies or in the mutant eyes absent heads. Tissue in situ hybridization detects dgq expression only in the retina and ocellus of the adult head, making it a prime candidate for encoding the Drosophila transducin analog, the G protein required for phototransduction.