The Ca2+-dependent and EDTA-resistant hydrolysis of O-hexyl O-2,5-dichlorophenyl phosphoramidate (HDCP) and paraoxon was studied in serum and subcellular fractions of liver, kidney and brain of hen, rat and rabbit. HDCP was the best substrate among all the tissues studied, except that of rabbit serum which showed the highest Ca2+-dependent paraoxon hydrolysing activity (paraoxonase). High HDCP hydrolysing activity (HDCPase) was detected in the brain tissue of the three species studied, whereas low or no paraoxonase was found. The HDCPase/paraoxonase ratio of Ca2+-dependent hydrolysing activities ranged from 0.5 to 83 for tissues of the same species. EDTA-resistant HDCPase activity was more than 50% of the total activities in hen tissues, with an almost undetectable Ca2+-dependent paraoxonase activity in most organs. The same response was observed in rat tissues, except for serum where the Ca2+-dependent HDCPase and paraoxonase activities were higher (70 and 25% of total activities, respectively). EDTA-resistant HDCPase and paraoxonase activities represented less than 25% of all activities in rabbit tissues. Paraoxon has traditionally been the substrate for measuring organophosphorus hydrolysing activities. However, HDCP could be a good substrate in addtion to paraoxon for monitoring other phosphotriesterases in biological tissues.