Hendra (HeV) and Nipah (NiV) viruses are newly emerged, zoonotic viruses and their genomes have nucleotide and predicted amino acid homologies placing them in the subfamily Paramyxoviridae. The polymerase-associated phosphoproteins (P proteins) of paramyxoviruses have been shown, by direct and indirect methods, to be highly phosphorylated. In this study, a comprehensive comparison of in vivo phosphorylation of HeV and NiV P proteins, derived from virus particles, was achieved by a direct approach using electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry (ESI-IT-MS). Phosphorylation sites for the P proteins were determined at Ser-224 and Thr-239 in HeV and at Ser-240 and Ser-472 in NiV. These phosphorylation patterns do not appear to be consistent with those reported for other paramyxoviruses. Protein V, a product of a frame shift in the P protein gene, was identified by specific antibodies in HeV preparations but not in NiV. HeV V protein was found to contain phosphoserine but not phosphothreonine. In addition, P proteins from both viruses were found to be modified by N-terminal acetylation.