The present work investigates the hysteretic behaviour of Cu-Zn-Al single crystal submitted to superelastic shear tests. Major symmetric loops were performed within the shear strain limit of the stress-induced martensitic transformation. Minor loops inside the major loops allowed to analyse more closely the hysteretic behaviour of the Cu-Zn-Al single crystal. Experimental results obey most of the phenomenological observations previously established for polycrystalline Ni-Ti shape memory alloys. (C) 2004 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.