Beta-cypermethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid pesticide and potential toxic pollutant, contaminating aquatic ecosystems was investigated in the present study for acute toxicity. Guppy fish (Poecilia reticulata) was selected for the bioassay experiments. The experiments were repeated three times and the 48-h LC50 was determined for the guppies. The static test method of acute toxicity test was used. Water temperature was regulated at 22 +/- 1 degreesC. In addition, behavioral changes at each beta-cypermethrin concentration were observed for the individual fish. Data obtained from the beta-cypermethrin acute toxicity tests were evaluated using the probit analysis statistical method. The 48-h LC50 value for guppy was estimated as 21.4 mug/l. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.