1. Using a monoclonal anti-human C3 antibody and a polyclonal anti-cobra venom factor antibody as probes, a protein homologous to the mammalian third complement component (C3) was purified from axolotl plasma and found to be axolotl C3. 2. Axolotl C3 consists of two polypeptide chains (Mr = 110,000 and 73,000) linked by disulfide bonds. An internal thiolester bond in the alpha chain was identified by the incorporation of [14C]methylamine and NH2-terminal sequence from the C3d fragment of C3. 3. Digestion of C3 by trypsin resulted in the cleavage of both the alpha and beta chains, generating fragments with a cleavage pattern similar to that of human C3. 4. The amino acid composition of axolotl C3 and the amino acid sequences of the thiolester site (and the surrounding amino acids), the cleavage site for the C3-convertase, and one of the factor I cleavage sites are similar to C3 from other vertebrates. 5. In contrast to human C3, which has concanavalin A binding carbohydrates on both the alpha and beta chains, only the beta chain of axolotl C3 contains such carbohydrates.