The blood cell of the horseshoe crab, Limulus, is packed with granules that can be stimulated to release their contents by exocytosis. We have identified a family of proteinase inhibitors in the released materials. Included is a factor similar to the alpha 2-macroglobulin homologue present in the plasma and acid-stable and acid-instable active-site inhibitors. The acid-stable factor is active against both serine (trypsin, chymotrypsin) and metal (thermolysin) proteinases. The trypsin- and chymotrypsin-inhibitory activity has a molecular weight of 6100, as determined by gel-filtration chromatography.