Abstract: In a previous work, we calculated the dietary α-linolenic requirements (from vegetable oil triglycerides) for obtaining and maintaining a physiological level of (n-3) fatty acids in developing animal membranes as determined by the cervonic acid content [22:6(n-3), docosahexaenoic acid]. The aim of the present study was to measure the phospholipid requirement, as these compounds directly provide the very long polyunsaturated fatty acids found in membranes. Two weeks before mating, eight groups of female rats (previously fed peanut oil deficient in α-linolenic acid) were fed different semisynthetic diets containing 6% African peanut oil supplemented with different quantities of phospholipids obtained from bovine brain lipid extract, so as to add (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids to the diet. An additional group was fed peanut oil with rapeseed oil, and served as control. Pups were fed the same diet as their respective mothers, and were killed at weaning. Forebrain, sciatic nerve, retina, nerve endings, myelin, and liver were analyzed. We conclude that during the combined maternal and perinatal period, the (n-3) fatty acid requirement for adequate deposition of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in the nervous tissue (and in liver) of pups is lower if animals are fed (n-3) very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids found in brain phospholipids [this study, ˜60 mg of (n-3) fatty acids/100 g of diet, i.e., ˜130 mg/1,000 kcal] rather than α-linolenic acid from vegetable oil triglycerides [200 mg of (n-3) fatty acids/100 g of diet, i.e., ˜440 mg/1,000 kcal].