Total ecdysteroid-like immunoreactive material was assayed and quantified in adults of the parasitic nematode N. brasiliensis during the intestinal phase in the rat in order to detect possible physiological fluctuations in titre. Worms of the same sex isolated from one rat were pooled in order to quantify ecdysteroids using enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The concentration of ecdysteroids fluctuated during adult life according to the sex and the age of the parasite. Important differences of levels of ecdysteroid-like compounds between the two sexes of parasites were noted particularly at 128 and 168 h post-infection. The peak at 128 h, present in female, but not in male worms, corresponds to the time of egg-laying. Following HPLC-EIA analysis, the presence of ecdysone, 20-hydroxyecdysone and apolar ecdysteroid-like material was ascertained during this peak. The physiological role and the possible origin of ecdysteroids in this nematode are discussed.