Glutathione S-transferase activity (EC 126.96.36.199) was demonstrated in six species of earthworms of the family Lumbricidae: Eisenia foetida, Lumbricus terrestris, Lumbricus rebellus, Allolobophora longa, Allolobophora caliginosa and Allolobophora chlorotica. Considerable activity was obtained with 1-chlorl-2,4-dinitrobenzene and low activity with 3,4-dichloro-1-nitrobenzene, but no enzymic reaction was detectable with sulphobromophthalein 1,2-epoxy-3-(p-nitrophenoxy)propane of trans-4-phenylbut-3-en-2-one as substrates. Enzyme prepartations from L. rubellus and A. longa were the most active, whereas A. chlorotica gave the lowest activity. The ratio of the activities obtained with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and 3,4-cichloro-1-nitrobenzene was very different in the various species, but no phylogenetic pattern was evident. Isoelectric focusing gave rise to various activity peaks as measured with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene as a substrate, and the activity profiles of the species examined appeared to follow a taxonomic pattern. The activity of Allolobophora had the highest peak in the alkaline region, whereas that of Lumbricus had the highest peak in the acid region. Eisenia showed a very complex activity profile, with the highest peak ne pH 7. As determined by an enzymic assay, all the species contained glutathione, on an average about 0.5 mumol/g wet wt. Conjugation with glutathione catalysed by glutathione S-transferases may consequently be an important detoxification mechanism in earthworms.