Bellamya bengalensis (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia) and Lamellidens marginalis (Bivalvia: Eulamellibranchiata) are the molluscs of Indian freshwater ecosystem and important biological resources. These edible species bear economical, ecological, nutritional and medicinal importance. Natural habitat of these organisms is under the ecological threat of contamination by cypermethrin and fenvalerate, the common pyrethroid pesticides of India. Hemocytes are chief immunoeffector cells of molluscs which exhibit responsiveness against environmental toxins and perform diverse immunological functions including phagocytosis, encapsulation and cytotoxicity. Experimental exposure of cypermethrin and fenvalerate resulted in significant shift in density and morphological damage in hemocytes of B. bengalensis and L. marginalis respectively. Pyrethroid induced fragility and destabilization of hemocyte lysosomal membrane was recorded and proposed as an indication of toxin induced stress in molluscs. Apoptosis is an immunologically important cellular response which is modulated by environmental toxins. Pyrethroid exposure suppressed the physiological level of apoptosis and necrosis in hemocytes of B. bengalensis and L. marginalis indicating possible impairment of apoptosis mediated immunoprotection. Differential responses of B. bengalensis and L. marginalis hemocytes may be due to species specificity, toxin specificity, nonidentical immune strategies of Gastropoda and Bivalvia, specific habitat preference and related ecological niches. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.