Distributions of serotonin and catecholamines in larvae of the marine bryozoan Bugula neritina (Bryozoa: Cheilostomatida) were investigated using immunohistochemistry with anti-serotonin antiserum and glyoxylic acid–induced fluorescence histochemistry. Anti-serotonin immunoreactive substances and glyoxylic acid–induced fluorescent substances had similar distributions in the equatorial neuromuscular ring, the neural plexus, the paired axial neuromuscular cords, and tracts connecting the neural plexus to ciliated cells bordering the pyriform organ. The effects of dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, tyramine, octopamine, synephrine and serotonin, at 10−4, 10−5 and 10−6 M, on settlement were analysed. In filtered seawater, 98% of larvae settled in 3 h, but only 11%, 3% and 6% total settlement was observed after 8 h in 10−4 M dopamine, 10−4 M serotonin and 10−5 M serotonin, respectively. Total settlement was 70% in 10−4 M noradrenaline, 80% in 10−4 M adrenaline and 60% in 10−4 M tyramine. Less than 60% settlement was observed in 10−4 and 10−5 M octopamine and synephrine. Serotonin's inhibitory effect on settlement was mimicked by a range of serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists, among which 5-carboxamidotryptamine was the most potent.