Pyrethroid insecticides are known to be highly toxic to most aquatic nontarget organisms, but little is known about the mechanisms causing some species to be highly sensitive while others are hardly affected by the pyrethroids. The aim of the present study was to measure the sensitivity (EC50-values) of 10 aquatic invertebrates toward a 24 h pulse of the pyrethroid cypermethrin and subsequently test if the difference in sensitivity could be explained by measured morphological and physiological traits and modeled toxicokinetic (TK) and toxicodynamic (TD) parameters. Large differences were observed for the measured uptake and elimination kinetics, with bioconcentration factors (BCFs) ranging from 53 to 2337 at the end of the exposure. Similarly, large differences were observed for the TDs, and EC50-values after 168 h varied 120-fold. Modeling the whole organism cypermethrin concentrations indicated compartmentation into a sorbed fraction and two internal fractions: a bioavailable and non-bioavailable internal fraction. Strong correlations between surface/volume area and the TK parameters (sorption and uptake rate constants and the resulting BCF) were found, but none of the TK parameters correlated with sensitivity. The only parameter consistently correlating with sensitivity across all species was the killing rate constant of the GUTS-RED-SD model (the reduced general unified threshold models of survival assuming stochastic death), indicating that sensitivity toward cypermethrin is more related to the TD parameters than to TK parameters.