Brugia malayi microfilariae of specified ages were obtained from gerbils implanted with fertile adult worms. Such microfilariae were tested for their capacity to infect mosquitoes. A strong age dependence was found for the microfilariae's capacity to: penetrate the mosquito midgut, exsheath in response to 20 mM calcium, and develop to third stage larvae in the mosquito. In addition, differences were found between 2-day-old microfilariae and controls (from larva-infected gerbils) in their reactivities with a series of monoclonal antibodies. Thus, defined immunochemical changes occur in microfilariae as they assume functional maturity.