Standard indirect immunocytochemical techniques have been interfaced with confocal scanning laser microscopy (for whole-mount preparations) and epifluorescence microscopy (for cryosections) to investigate the occurrence and distribution of serotoninergic and peptidergic nerve elements in adult H. diminuta. Serotonin (5-HT)-immunoreactivity (IR) was widespread throughout the worm, occurring in the paired cerebral ganglia, transverse commissure, the 10 longitudinal nerve cords and in a plethora of small nerve fibres of the peripheral nervous system. An abundance of serotoninergic nerve cell bodies was found in association with the lateral nerve cords. The genital atrium and accessory reproductive ducts were richly innervated with serotoninergic nerve fibres. Thirty-five antisera to 20 vertebrate regulatory peptides and 1 invertebrate peptide (FMRFamide) were used to screen the worm for neuropeptide IR. Immunostaining was obtained with antisera raised to pancreatic polypeptide (PP), peptide YY (PYY), neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), peptide histidine isoleucine (PHI), xenopsin (XP) and FMRFamide. The most extensive pattern of IR occurred with antisera to PP and PYY, IR being evident in the cerebral ganglia, transverse commissure, longitudinal nerve cords and in small nerve fibres that ramified throughout the parenchyma. A series of bipolar nerve cell bodies between the median nerve cords displayed PP/PYY-IR. The distribution of FMRFamide-IR was reminiscent of the PP/PYY pattern but was less extensive. Comparison of the serotoninergic and peptidergic nervous systems has revealed general similarities and some distinct differences, especially with regard to the distribution of immunoreactive nerve cell bodies. Quantitative data are presented on the levels of PP-, SP-, PH1-, and gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP)-immunoreactivities demonstrable in acid-alcohol extracts of whole worms. The highest level of peptide IR determined was recorded for PP.