Kinins comprise a family of peptides that were first found in the central nervous system of insects and recently also in mollusks and crustaceans. After the isolation of the first members of the kinin family, the leukokinins from Leucophaea maderae, leukokinin-related peptides were found in the cricket Acheta domesticus and the locust Locusta migratoria, all through their ability to induce Leucophaea maderae hindgut contraction. Subsequently, kinins were found in the mosquitoes Culex salinarius and Aedes aegypti and in the earworm Helicoverpa zea. The first noninsect member of this family was isolated from a mollusk, the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. Most recently our group has isolated the first kinins from crustaceans. Six kinins were isolated from the white shrimp Penaeus vannamei. To date, 35 members of this family have been isolated. The first relatively small family of insect kinins has grown into an expanding and rather large family with members in insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. In this paper we discuss the kinin family in terms of method of isolation, structure, in vitro and in vivo activity, distribution, receptors, and signal transduction. We will compare the crustacean and insect members of the kinin family, using the data available on crustacea.