The carbohydrate constituents of whole eggs and fractions derived from the eggs of Hymenolepis diminuta were partly characterized. Whole eggs contained 9·6 ng of carbohydrate (phenol-sulphuric acid-positive material) per egg, and 3·6 ng of glucose. Analysis of hydrolysed eggs by HPLC demonstrated the presence of glucose, galactose, glycerol, N-acetylgalactosamine, and 2-deoxyribose. Isolated egg shells and the KOH-stable, ethanol-precipitable fraction (putative glycogen) of eggs contained 26 and 76%, respectively, of the total carbohydrate associated with eggs. Glucose and galactose were present in both of these samples, but only glucose was present in the KOH-stable, ethanol-precipitable fraction isolated from chemically deshelled eggs; thus, the source of the galactose in the KOH-stable, ethanol-precipitable fraction isolated from whole eggs was the egg-shells. These data confirm earlier reports that the shells contain carbohydrate; the data demonstrate further that only two monosaccharides (glucose and galactose) are present in the shells, and that they are present as high molecular weight polymers. The ethanol-soluble fraction of eggs contained 2·5% of the total carbohydrate in eggs, and glucose accounted for < 1% of the ethanol-soluble carbohydrate. Analysis of the ethanol-soluble fraction by HPLC demonstrated that the predominant monosaccharides were glycerol and mannose, with smaller quantities of 2-deoxyribose and 2-deoxyglucose. The absence of a ‘free pool’ of glucose in eggs, and the presence of large amounts of glycerol and mannose, suggest that the pathways of intermediary carbohydrate metabolism in eggs might be very different from those in adult tapeworms.