We measured the reduction in locomotion of unrestrained pond snails, Lymnaea stagnalis, subsequent to transdermal application of two selective octopamine antagonists, epinastine and phentolamine. After 3 h in fresh standard snail water following treatment with 4 mM epinastine or 3.5 mM phentolamine, the snails' speed was reduced to 25 and 56% of the controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.02, respectively). The snails' speed decreased as the drug concentration increased. In the isolated CNS, 0.5 mM octopamine increased the firing rate of the pedal A cluster motoneurons, which innervate the cilia of the foot. In normal saline the increase was 26% and in a high magnesium/low calcium saline 22% (P < 0.05 and 0.01, respectively). We conclude that octopamine is likely to modulate snail locomotion, partially through effects on pedal motoneurons.