This study investigated the possible effects of a commonly used foliar herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) formulation on medulla spinalis of lebistes. Fish were exposed to 2,4-D (15, 30, 45 ring L-1), behavioral changes were monitored. Fish were fixed, histopathological examination was carried out on sections taken from the upper parts of the fish body. Histopathology showed increase in neuronal loss, swelling indicating formation of intracellular edema, vacuolization noticed as the formation of vacuoles within or adjacent to cells, deformation in the Nissl granules, pyknosis and gliosis in medulla spinalis. Behavioral changes were decreased general activity, grouping, shortness in breath. sudden rotations and jumping, loss of equilibrium and colour. In conclusion, this commercial formulation of 2,4-D is considerably neurotoxic to lebistes. Fish constitute the last link in the chain of the feeding cycle in aquatic eco-system, number of studies investigating acute and chronic neurotoxicity of various herbicides in fish should be increased. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.