A novel 6-kDa peptide has been isolated from the haemolymph of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), and fully identified. Its concentration is higher in crowd-reared (gregarious) animals than in isolated-reared (solitarious) ones. Its concentration decreases progressively from generation to generation with solitarization of gregarious locusts. The peptide is also present in freshly laid eggs. The concentration in eggs is higher in those from crowd-reared locusts. It is likely that the peptide is transferred from the female's haemolymph into the eggs because injection of the peptide into females before oviposition increases the amount of the 6-kDa peptide in the eggs. A two-step HPLC purification procedure for this peptide is described. It allowed several bioassays to test for a possible function. Although the peptide's concentration in the haemolymph is high (0.1 mM), which suggests some physiological function, we have as yet not been able to identify a function. We hypothesize that the 6-kDa peptide may somehow play a role as a maternal factor in the determination of the phase-state of the offspring.