Ficolins are a group of proteins mainly consisting of collagen-like and fibrinogen-like domains and are thought to play a role in innate immunity via their carbohydrate-binding activities. Two types of ficolins have been identified in mice, ficolin A, and ficolin B. However, their structure and function are not fully understood. In this study, we isolated the cDNA encoding a novel variant of ficolin A having a shorter collagen-like domain and a longer gap sequence, which was generated from the ficolin A gene by alternative splicing. We delineated the structure and function of mouse ficolins, including this splicing variant, by preparing the respective recombinants. Recombinant ficolin A, its splicing variant, and ficolin B showed multimeric structures and revealed binding to both N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine. Interestingly, ficolin B specifically recognized sialic acid residues. Ficolin A and its variant, but not ficolin B, bound to mannose-binding lectin (MBL)-associated serine protease-2 (Masp-2) and small MBL-associated protein (smap), and the resulting complexes showed a potent complement activating capacity. In addition, smap competed with Masp-2 in association with ficolin A and its variant, and inhibited the complement activation by the ficolin A (or ficolin A variant)/MASP-2 complex, indicating its regulatory role in the lectin pathway. These results suggest that ficolin A and its variant function as recognition molecules of the lectin pathway, and ficolin B plays a distinct role through its unique carbohydrate-binding specificity.