1. Intracellular recordings were made from identified neurones in the central nervous system of Helix aspersa. Two types of cell were used, those excited by 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and acetylcholine and those inhibited by 5-HT and dopamine. The actions of a range of 5-HT agonists and antagonists were tested for their ability to interact with 5-HT receptors. 2. 5-Carboxyamidotryptamine, alpha-methyl-5-HT and N-methyl-5-HT were active on cells excited by 5-HT, with similar potencies to 5-HT. Only 5-carboxyamidotryptamine and 5-methoxytryptamine were equiactive with 5-HT on cells inhibited by 5-HT. Most of the non-indole analogues were inactive or very weak agonists on both receptors. 3. MDL 72222 was the most active antagonist tested against 5-HT excitation, showing some selectivity for 5-HT over acetylcholine. Cinanserin and ketanserin also showed selectivity for 5-HT over acetylcholine. 4. Tryptamine was inhibitory on both cell types and was a potent antagonist of 5-HT excitation, showing selectivity for 5-HT over acetylcholine. 5. It is concluded that the 5-HT excitatory receptor recognizes the indole nucleus with substitution on position 5, save for 5-fluorotryptamine which was inhibitory. It does not appear that these 5-HT receptors can be classified in terms of the vertebrate subtypes of 5-HT receptor. However, it should be noted that only two receptor subtypes located on a small number of neurones were studied in these experiments and other 5-HT receptor suptypes may be located on other groups of neurones and peripheral tissues. These receptors may recognize other 5-HT receptor ligands including non-indoles.