Two sodium channel toxins, BgII and BgIII, isolated from the sea anemone Bunodosoma granulifera, have been subjected to an elaborate electrophysiological and pharmacological comparison between five different cloned sodium channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes in order to determine their efficacy, potency and selectivity. Our results reveal large differences in toxin-induced effect between the different sodium channels. These toxins possess the highest efficacy for the insect sodium channel (para). Our data also show that BgII, generally known as a neurotoxin, is especially potent on the insect sodium channel with an EC(50) value of 5.5+/-0.5 nM. Therefore, this toxin can be used as a template for further development of new insecticides. Based on our findings, an evolutionary relationship between crustaceans and insects is also discussed.