Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system in vertebrates. Excitotoxicity, caused by over-stimulation of the glutamate receptors, is a major cause of neuron death in several brain diseases, including epilepsy. We describe here how behavioural seizures can be triggered in adult zebrafish by the administration of kainate and are very similar to those observed in rodent models. Kainate induced a dose-dependent sequence of behavioural changes culminating in clonus-like convulsions. Behavioural seizures were suppressed by DNQX (6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione) dose-dependently, whilst MK-801 (a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist) had a lesser effect. Kainate triggers seizures in adult zebrafish, and thus this species can be considered as a new model for studying seizures and subsequent excitotoxic brain injury.