Recent studies have established that several nonenveloped viruses utilize virus-encoded lytic peptides for host membrane disruption. We investigated this mechanism with the "gamma" peptide of the insect virus Flock House virus (FHV). We demonstrate that the C terminus of gamma is essential for membrane disruption in vitro and the rescue of immature virus infectivity in vivo, and the amphipathic N terminus of gamma alone is not sufficient. We also show that deletion of the C-terminal domain disrupts icosahedral ordering of the amphipathic helices of gamma in the virus. Our results have broad implications for understanding membrane lysis during nonenveloped virus entry.