In wild-type Drosophila, the period protein (PER) is found in nuclei of the eyes and brain, and PER immunoreactivity oscillates with a circadian rhythm. The studies described here indicate that the nuclear localization of PER is blocked by timeless (tim), a second chromosome mutation that, like per null mutations, abolishes circadian rhythms. PER fusion proteins without a conserved domain (PAS) and some flanking sequences are nuclear in tim mutants. This suggests that a segment of PER inhibits nuclear localization in tim mutants. The tim gene may have a role in establishing rhythms of PER abundance and nuclear localization in wild-type flies.