In the female genital system of Zygaena moths, an additional pair of accessory glands is present besides the Y-shaped sebaceous gland. The term ‘Petersen's glands’ is proposed for these organs. Anatomy, histology, histochemistry and cytology of Petersen's glands of Zygaena trifolii are described. The sac-like glands, situated in the extreme dorsocaudal part of the abdomen, can be divided into a purely secretory part consisting of acini with large pear-shaped gland cells and a reservoir part with combined secretory and storage function. The secretory cells of the acini are penetrated by long curved ductules or secretory end apparatuses having feltwork consisting of very fine filaments. The cytoplasm is characterized by abundance of smooth tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ATER) and the presence of peroxisomes. This cytoplasmic organization is in accordance with the chemical composition of the sticky secretion, which evidently consists completely of lipids. The ultrastructure of the epithelium lining the reservoir of the glands has both traits of secretory and of transporting epithelia. Besides contributing to the secretion, it may be involved in absorption of residual aqueous phase from the contents of the reservoir.