Abstract The phospholipid composition of nervous ganglia of the bivalve Unio crassa, the gastropod Helix pomatia and the cephalopods Octopus sp. and Ommastrephes sloanei pacificus have been investigated.

The ganglia of cephalopods contain considerably more phospholipids than do gastropod and bivalve ganglia. Especially rich in phospholipids are the optic ganglion of the squid Ommastrephes and the cerebral ganglion of Octopus, where their content is of the same order as in the brain of teleosts and amphibia.

In the ganglia of the lower molluscs, the bivalve and the gastropod, no sphingomyelin nor X-phospholipid could be detected.

No sphingomyelin nor X-phospholipid were found in the optic ganglion of Octopus, whereas in its cerebral ganglion sphingomyelin but no X-phospholipid was present.

In both the optic and the cerebral ganglia of the squid Ommastrephes both sphingomyelin and X-phospholipid were found.