The major phospholipids of rat ventral prostate have been separated and examined using thin-layer chromatography, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The main phospholipid classes were choline and ethanolamine glycerophospholipids, accounting for 77.9% of total lipid phosphorus. The prostate also contained small amounts of serine glycerophospholipids and sphingomyelin. The relative proportions of fatty acids in the different phospholipid classes were also determined. Arachidonic acid in prostatic phospholipids is contributed primarily by ethanolamine glycerophospholipids. This fraction contained 65–69 mol% plasmalogens, whereas choline and serine glycerophospholipid fractions contained less than 5 mol% plasmalogens. Ethanolamine, choline and serine plasmalogens contained mainly vinyl ethers of palmitic and stearic aldehydes. Ethanolamine plasmalogens also contained the vinyl ether of oleic aldehyde.