Solid phase synthesis was used to produce 5 hybrid peptides containing sequences from the antibacterial peptide, cecropin A, and from the bee venom toxin, melittin. Four of these chimeric peptides showed good antibacterial activity against representative Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial species. The best hybrid, cecropin A(1-13)-melittin(1-13) was 100-fold more active than cecropin A against Staphylococcus aureus. It was also a 10-fold better antimalarial agent than cecropin B or magainin 2. Sheep red cells were lysed by melittin at low concentrations, but not by the hybrid molecules, even at 50 times higher concentrations.