The small G proteins of the Arf family play critical roles in membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton organization. However, the function of some members of the family remains poorly understood including Arl5 which is widely conserved in eukaryotes. Humans have two closely related Arl5 paralogues (Arl5a and Arl5b), and both Arl5a and Arl5b localize to the trans-Golgi with Arl5b being involved in retrograde traffic from endosomes to the Golgi apparatus. To investigate the function of Arl5, we have used Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. We find that the single Arl5 orthologue in Drosophila also localizes to the trans-Golgi, but flies lacking the Arl5 gene are viable and fertile. By using both liposome and column based affinity chromatography methods we find that Arl5 interacts with the Golgi-associated retrograde protein (GARP) complex that acts in the tethering of vesicles moving from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). In Drosophila tissues the GARP complex is partially displaced from the Golgi when Arl5 is absent, and the late endosomal compartment is enlarged. In addition, in HeLa cells GARP also becomes cytosolic upon depletion of Arl5b. These phenotypes are consistent with a role in endosome-to-Golgi traffic, but are less severe than loss of GARP itself. Thus it appears that Arl5 is one of the factors that directs the recruitment of the GARP complex to the trans-Golgi, and this function is conserved in both flies and humans.