Conventional histochemistry and the binding patterns of 22 biotinylated lectins were examined for characterisation of glycoconjugates in the components of the olfactory mucosa of the armadillo Chaetophractus villosus. The mucous lining the olfactory epithelium showed binding sites for DSL, WGA, STL, LEL, PHA-E and JAC. Only the basilar processes of the supporting cells stained for Con-A and S-Con A. The olfactory receptor neurons stained with LEL, LCA, Con A, S-Con A, JAC and PNA. The layer of basal cells did not react with any of the lectins studied. Bowman's glands in the lamina propria showed subpopulations of acinar cells reacting with SBA, S-WGA, WGA, STL, Con A, PSA, PNA, SJA, VVA, JAC and S-Con A, but in our optical studies with lectins we were unable to differentiate between mucous and serous cells in the way that is possible on electron microscopy. The ducts of Bowman's glands were labelled with S-WGA, STL, LEL, PHA-E, BSL-I and JAC. This histochemical study on the glycoconjugates of the olfactory mucosa in the order Xenarthra provides a basis for further experimental investigations.