Steroids (testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone, corticosterone, dexamethasone and deoxycorticosterone) were administered intramuscularly (0.1 mg · 100 g bw-1) on seven consecutive days to juvenile male soft-shelled turtles. Serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine contents of the pineal-paraphyseal complex were measured spectrofluorometrically 24 h after the last injection. Testosterone and oestrogen decreased serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine levels. Progesterone treatment resulted in an increase of serotonin level and a fall in norepinephrine and epinephrine levels. Corticosterone treatment caused an increase of serotonin level and a decrease of norepinephrine and epinephrine levels. Dexamethasone failed to alter serotonin content, increased norepinephrine and decreased epinephrine levels. Deoxycorticosterone decreased serotonin and elevated epinephrine content. © 1992 Springer-Verlag.