Primary metabolism of aflatoxin B1 by the liver microsomal enzymes from a range of animal species showed both quantitative and qualitative differences. Quail was shown to have the most rapid metabolism of aflatoxin B1. The major product of metabolism in this case was found to be aflatoxin B1-8,9-dihydrodiol suggesting that the quail microsomes produced high levels of the proposed reactive intermediate aflatoxin B1-8,9-epoxide. Using this system to generate the epoxide, the ability of the cytosol prepared from each species to conjugate epoxide with reduced glutathione was investigated. Large differences in ability to conjugate were observed ranging from 0 to 72% for quail and mouse respectively. Differences in both primary and secondary metabolism of AFB1 were noted between male and female Fischer 344 rats.