Excretory/ secretory (ES) products were collected up to 6 h after egg hatch and analysed by SDS-PAGE. The larvae produced a complex array of molecules, the pattern of which changed dramatically over the time of culture. When larvae were cultured on isolated sheep skin, skin degradation was found to occur immediately upon egg hatch with digestion of the available soluble skin molecules virtually complete within 6 h of culture. Proteolytic activity of the larval ES products was assessed by gelatine substrate SDS-PAGE gels and revealed numerous secreted proteases, the majority of which belong to the serine class of protease. Several of these proteases appeared to be developmentally regulated including a 28 kDa protease which was secreted only during the time of egg hatch. Metabolic labelling experiments indicated that culture conditions can influence the production of ES products with larvae cultured in the absence of sheep skin producing greater amounts and numbers of specific proteins.