The distribution of cholecystokinin-like immunoreactivity was studied in the stomatogastric nervous systems, pericardial organs, and haemolymph of four species of decapod crustacea, by using immunocytochemical and radioimmunoassay techniques. Whereas cholecystokinin-like immunoreactivity was found within the stomatogastric nervous systems of all four species, its distribution in each is unique. Two species (Panulirus interruptus and Homarus americanus) have cholecystokinin-like immunoreactivity within fibers and neuropil of the stomatogastric ganglion (STG); two other species (Cancer antenarius and Procambarus clarkii) do not. Further, the cholecystokinin-like immunoreactivity within the STGs of Panulirus and Homarus arise from distinct structures; from a projection of anterior ganglia in Panulirus, and from somata within the posterior motor nerves in Homarus. The staining in the other ganglia of the stomatogastric nervous system also shows some interspecies variability, although it appears to be more highly conserved than staining within the STG. These differences in staining were confirmed by measuring the amount of CCK-like peptide present in tissue extracts of ganglia by radioimmunoassay. In contrast to the variable staining within the STG, all four species have cholecystokinin-like immunoreactivity within the neurosecretory pericardial organs and thoracic segmental nerves. This cholecystokinin-like immunoreactivity is contained within fibers and within varicosities that coat the surface of these structures. The location of this staining and the presence of detectible levels of CCK-like peptide in the haemolymph suggests that CCK-like peptides in decapod crustacea may be utilized as neurohormones.