The glycolipids of Ascaris suum represent either neutral, zwitterionic or acidic structures. The acidic fraction comprises a sulphatide and an unusual phosphoinositolglycosphingolipid (Lochnit et al. 1998b). The sulphatide was previously localized to the hypodermis, contractile zone of somatic muscle cells and the external musculature of the female uterus, whereas the presence of the phosphoinositolglycosphingolipid species was restricted to the intestine. The neutral and zwitterionic components belong to the arthro-carbohydrate series, which are substituted in their zwitterionic structures by phosphocholine (PC) and in one glycolipid by an additional phosphoethanolamine residue. In previous immunohistochemical localization studies, however, the chemical nature of the PC-substituted biomolecules has not been investigated in detail. Here, we report on the immunohistochemical localization and differentiation of phosphocholine-containing structures into lipid- and protein-bound species in adult A. suum. The patterns of immunostaining, obtained with a PC-specific monoclonal antibody and anti-zwitterionic glycolipid hyperimmune serum in the female worm, indicated a parallel organ distribution for glycolipid- and protein-bound PC-epitopes. Immunoreactivity was localized to specific tissues of the body wall, intestine and reproductive tract. This is the first report of surface-located PC-epitopes for ascarids. The patterns of immunolabelling obtained with antibodies directed against the unsubstituted arthro-carbohydrate series backbone suggested that the glycolipid-bound epitope was restricted to the hypodermis, whilst the protein-bound antigenic determinant resembled that for PC.