Larval Dover sole (Solea solea L.) were reared from first feeding to metamorphosis on Artemia salina nauplii, inert diets, or inert diets following pre-feeding with Artemia. The duration of the pre-feeding ranged from 0 to 10 days. The growth and development of the larvae receiving the different diets was monitored. The inert diets were prepared as microcapsules or as ground and sieved particles. Sole larvae could be reared from first feeding to metamorphosis exclusively on inert diets. However, the longer larvae were pre-fed with Artemia, the greater were their rates of growth and development, but their mortality rate during weaning to a formulated diet was also higher. The best survival rate on an artificial diet was obtained when live Artemia nauplii were offered for the first 10 days. Possible explanations for the superiority of live foods over inert diets are discussed.