In order to extend our knowledge of the presence of bacteria in hatcheries and their influence on rearing performance, the aerobic and facultative bacterial flora associated with farmed turbot larvae were studied in relation to the microflora of the water and diets. A settlement of specific groups of bacterial populations was found in the gut of the larvae. A clear succession of bacterial phenotypes was also observed from day 1 to day 90 post-hatching. Oxidative Gram-negative rods were predominant at the initial stages, whereas some phenotypes of Vibrio were frequent at the final stages. A high heterogeneity of Vibrio species was observed in the intermediate period when the highest mortalities of turbot larvae occur.