Strains carrying the X-linked telomeric P elements TP5 or TP6 varied in their ability to repress hybrid dysgenesis. The rank ordering of these strains was consistent across different genetic assays and was not related to the type of telomeric P element (TP5 or TP6) present. Strong repression of dysgenesis was associated with weak expression of mRNA from the telomeric P element and also with a reduced amount of mRNA from a transposase-producing P element contained within a transgene inserted on an autosome. A strictly maternal component of repression, transmitted independently of the telomeric P element, was detected in the daughters but not the sons of females from the strongest repressing strains. However, this effect was seen only when dysgenesis was induced by crossing these females to males from a P strain, not when it was induced by crossing them to males homozygous for a single transposase-producing P element contained within a transgene. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the P cytotype, the condition that regulates P elements, involves an RNA interference mechanism mediated by piRNAs produced by telomeric P elements such as TP5 and TP6 and amplified by RNAs produced by other P elements.