Pyrethroid insecticides are widely used on agricultural crops, as well as for nurseries, golf courses, urban structural and landscaping sites, residential home and garden pest control, and mosquito abatement. Evaluation of sensitive marine and estuarine species is essential for the development of toxicity testing and risk-assessment protocols. Two estuarine crustacean species, Americamysis bahia (mysids) and Palaemonetes pugio (grass shrimp), were tested with the commonly used pyrethroid compounds, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, and phenothrin. Sensitivities of adult and larval grass shrimp and 7-day-old mysids were compared using standard 96-h LC50 bioassay protocols. Adult and larval grass shrimp were more sensitive than the mysids to all the pyrethroids tested. Larval grass shrimp were approximately 18-fold more sensitive to lambda-cyhalothrin than the mysids. Larval grass shrimp were similar in sensitivity to adult grass shrimp for cypermethrin, deltamethrin, and phenothrin, but larvae were approximately twice as sensitive to lambda-cyhalothrin and permethrin as adult shrimp. Acute toxicity to estuarine crustaceans occurred at low nanogram per liter concentrations of some pyrethroids, illustrating the need for careful regulation of the use of pyrethroid compounds in the coastal zone. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 29: 1099–1106, 2014.