The collagens of all major invertebrate phyla have been studied, but characterization has been thorough in only a few classes and in no case in the detail (such as sequence analysis) known for vertebrate collagen. Biochemical data on insect collagen are particularly sparse. Invertebrate and vertebrate collagens are strikingly similar, with some notably unique features in annelids and nematodes. Present data do not support the suggestion that invertebrate collagens resemble vertebrate basement membrane collagen. In invertebrates, as in vertebrates, collagens of specific tissues show differenes that probably reflect individual tissue requirements.