Abstract Homogenates of Diplostomum pseudospathaceum cercariae agglutinated mouse erythrocytes. The haemagglutination could be inhibited by certain glycoconjugates containing β-1,3- and β-1,4-glycan chains and also by some simple saccharides. The most potent inhibitors were heparin and some other glycosaminoglycans, bacterial lipopolysaccharides, laminarin (a β-1,3-glucan) and lactulose. After electrophoresis of cercarial proteins, a dominant double band appeared in the 22–24 kDa region of gels. On blots, this protein bound labelled laminarin and it was also one of the few proteins recognised by mouse antibodies raised against cercarial haemagglutinins. In addition, mouse polyclonal antibodies against the β-1,3-glucan-binding protein bound exclusively to the 22–24 kDa region on Western blots. Histochemistry revealed strong binding of labelled laminarin to cercarial penetration glands; this reaction was fully blocked by unlabelled laminarin. Other labelled glycoconjugates such as heparin, hyaluronic acid and a bacterial lipopolysaccharide also bound to the glands. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the localisation of the β-1,3-glucan-binding protein in penetration glands. Reaction of the cercarial protein with immunoglobulins from non-immunised mice was observed on both nitrocellulose membranes and histological sections; this could be blocked by laminarin in incubation buffers. We consider the cercarial haemagglutinin to be a lectin which is identical with the 22–24 kDa β-1,3-glucan-binding protein. According to the binding specificity and localisation we speculate on a role of this lectin in cercarial penetration into the host, probably as a tissue recognition or antibody rendering factor.