In this paper, based on the prey model in foraging theory, the BIO-inspired Cross-layer (BIOX) communication and coordination protocol is introduced for wireless sensor and actor networks (WSANs). BIOX permits each sensor node to autonomously determine its next-hop selection and channel access strategy using bio-inspired next-hop selection and channel access profitability measures. Based on these profitability measures, BIOX provides optimal performance in energy-efficient and reliable sensor-actor communication. Furthermore, using task allocation profitability measure, BIOX also guarantees stable allocation of available tasks in a way that each task is accomplished by an actor node within a bounded time delay. Performance evaluations reveal that BIOX significantly prolongs the network lifetime while providing highly reliable sensor-actor communication and effective task allocation for actor nodes.