Larval stomach development was studied in the obligate carnivorous larva of the frog Lepidobatrachus laevis. Pepsin producing cells of the larval stomach were identified using rabbit anti-porcine pepsin and immunohistochemical techniques. Pepsin production was detected at a very early stage of development (stage 24: during opercular development) when the larvae were first competent for feeding. Peptic activity in isolated larval stomachs was demonstrated in a microassay using acid denatured hemoglobin at pH 1.7. The total activity per stomach increased 5,400 fold through the beginning of metamorphosis and the specific activity increased 345 fold through the same period. Electrophoretic analysis of the larval pepsinogens, using a caseinolytic assay revealed the presence of one major pepsinogen at stage 24; two additional isozymes were observed during later larval development. The molecular weight of the isopepsinogens was 34,800.