There is a general lack of basic information concerning one class of glycoconjugate, the glycolipids, from parasitic nematodes. As the prototype, the neutral glycolipid fraction derived from adult males of Ascaris suum was investigated as to its chromatographic, differential chemical staining, antigenic and chemical properties. The thin-layer chromato-graphy-resolved neutral fraction glycolipids could be classified into components of fast and slow migrating band groups. Immunoreactivity was restricted to the latter as detected by IgG and IgM anti-neutral fraction glycolipid antibody levels in serial infection sera of mice. Similarities of chromatography, antigenicity and serological cross-reactivity have been extended to the neutral glycolipid fractions of other parasitic nematodes: Litomosoides carinii and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Chemical, differential chemical staining and enzymatic analyses identified the Ascaris suum antigenic, slow migrating band group of components as amphoteric glycosphingolipids, and not the originally hypothesized glyco-glycerolipids or glycosylphosphatidylinositols, that contained typical neutral monosaccharide constituents and a zwitter-ionic phosphodiester linkage, most probably phosphocholine. Glycosphingolipid-immunoreactivity is eliminated on cleavage of the zwitterionic phosphodiester linkage by hydrofluoric acid treatment.