The molecular and functional conservation of oxytocin-related neuropeptides in behavior is striking. In animals separated by at least 600 million years of evolution, from roundworms to humans, oxytocin homologs play critical roles in the modulation of reproductive behavior and other biological functions. Here, we review the roles of oxytocin in invertebrate behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by tracing the evolution of oxytocin through the invertebrate animal lineages, and then describe common themes in invertebrate behaviors that are mediated by oxytocin-related peptides, including reproductive behavior, learning and memory, food arousal, and predator/prey relationships. Finally, we discuss interesting future directions that have recently become experimentally tractable. Studying oxytocin in invertebrates offers precise insights into the activity of neuropeptides on well-defined neural circuits; the principles that emerge may also be represented in the more complex vertebrate brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 128-142, 2017.