The germ line limited DNA of Ascaris suum was isolated from sperm and testis as a satellite DNA component in Hoechst 33258 — CsCl gradients. Employing restriction enzyme analysis, we show that the germ line limited DNA is composed entirely of two families of tandemly repeated sequences, one repeat unit is 125 bp, and the other 131 bp long. The total appr. 5 × 105 copies of the two families are physically separated from each other (segmental arrangement). Several repeat unit variants within both families could be detected. The copies of sequence variants are arranged in tandem (subsegmental arrangement). Reassociation and hybridization experiments revealed similar sequences of the two repeat units. The archaeotypic core sequence of both repeat units is probably a tetranucleotide which shows a ‘theme and variation’ pattern. During chromatin diminution in the presoma cells the satellite DNA is eliminated from the chromosomes. However, a limited number of tandemly repeated copies of both kinds of repeat units could be detected in the soma genome using radioactive probes of both repeat units in Southern blots of muscle and intestine of adult animals. The tandem arrangement and the hierarchical pattern of restriction sites throughout different subfamilies supports the model of successive segmental amplification events during the evolution of the germ line limited DNA. Since the germ line limited satellite DNA is exclusively located at the ends of the chromosomes, a fold back structure for the telomeric DNA sequences is proposed which might have generated this DNA.