Larvae of two caridean shrimp species, Macrobrachium rosenbergii (De Man) and Palaemon elegans Rathke, were fed live and artificial diets. P. elegans larvae fed exclusively live Artemia salina (15 nauplii mL(-1)) developed into first postlarval stage (PL1) within 12 days at a temperature of 25 degrees C and salinity 32.5 g L-1. Their survival and mean total length at this stage were 88.5% and 6.7 mm respectively. M. rosenbergii larvae fed on 15 Artemia mL(-1) started to metamorphose into PL1 within 24 days at 29-30 degrees C and 12 g L-1. Attempts to completely replace live Artemia for rearing P. elegans during early stages failed, and only a partial replacement was achieved for the larvae of both species. P. elegans larvae survived (49%) solely on a microgranulated diet (Frippak PL diet) from stage zoea (Z) 4-5 to PL1. Similarly, a microencapsulated diet (Frippak CD3) also sustained M. rosenbergii larvae from Z5-6 to PL1 with a 28% survival. Development of the larvae of both species was retarded by 2-3 days and their survivals were lower than those fed on the live diet.