Plasmas from Pseudonaja textilis and Notechis scutatus were tested in vitro for their ability to neutralise the procoagulant activity, in human plasma, of nine elapid venoms. Pseudonaja textilis plasma inhibited the procoagulant activity of all Pseudonaja species and in one taipan (Oxyuranas scutellatus). However there was no inhibitory activity against any from the Notechis species. Plasma from Notechis scutatus exhibited no inhibitory activity against any Notechis species, including self, only weak inhibition against the Pseudonaja species and, again, total inhibition of Oxyuranus scutellatus. Thus, protection of a species from the effects of its own venom does not appear to be universal. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.