The ontogenesis and specific activities of pancreatic and intestinal enzymes were investigated in sharpsnout sea bream, Diplodus puntazzo, during larval development until the end of weaning on day 50. The green-water technique was carried out for larval rearing in triplicate. Trypsin was first detected as early as hatching and sharply increased related to age and exogenous feeding until day 25, but a sharp decrease was observed towards the end of the experiment. Amylase was determined 2 days after hatching (DAH) and sharply increased to 10 DAH. Afterwards, slight decreases were found between 10 and 20 DAH and then slow alterations were continued until end of the experiment. Lipase was measured for the first time on day 4, and then slight increase was found to 25 DAH. After this date, slow variations were maintained until end of the experiment. Pepsin was firstly assayed 32 DAH related with stomach formation and sharply increased to 40 DAH. Then it was fluctuated until end of the experiment. Enzymes of brush border membranes, alkaline phosphatase and aminopeptidase N, showed similar pattern on specific activities during the first 10 days. Thereafter, while specific activity of alkaline phosphatase slightly decreased to 15 DAH and fluctuated until 20 DAH, aminopeptidase N activity slowly declined to 20 DAH. Afterwards, activity of alkaline phosphatase and aminopeptidase N were sharply increased to 30 DAH, showing maturation of the intestinal digestive process and also these activities continued to slight increase until end of the experiment. The specific activity of cytosolic peptidase, leucine-alanine peptidase sharply increased to on day 8, then suddenly declined to 12 DAH and further decreased until 20 DAH. After this date, in contrast to enzymes of brush border membranes, it sharply decreased to 25 DAH and continued to gradually decline until the end of the experiment. These converse expressions were indicative of a maturation of enterocytes and the transition to an adult mode of digestion. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All tights reserved.