In five species of decapod crustaceans--Cherax destructor (crayfish), Carcinus maenas (crab), Homarus americanus (clawed lobster), Eriocheir sinensis (crab), Macrobrachium rosenbergii (shrimp)--immunocytochemical stainings revealed the presence of sensory afferents with FMRFamide-like immunoreactivity in the central nervous system. These afferents were extremely thin, very numerous, and innervated all sensory neuropils except the optic and olfactory lobes. In their target neuropils they gave rise to condensed net- or ball-like terminal structures. Only in Homarus americanus but not in any other studied species immunocytochemistry revealed a separate, non-overlapping class of sensory afferents with substance P-like immunoreactivity. Also the afferents with substance P-like immunoreactivity were very thin and numerous, innervated all sensory neuropils except optic and olfactory lobes, and gave rise to condensed terminal structures. From their morphological characteristics it can be concluded that likely both classes of afferents are chemosensory. The substance P-like immunoreactivity suggests a link with the nociceptor afferents of vertebrates, with which both classes of afferents share several other morphological features.