A microsporidan parasite of the forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria infected cells and replicated in vitro in a line from the moth Heliothis zea. After spore germination, the incidence of infected cells increased with time until leveling off with sporulation. During the first 24 hr, there was a static number of parasites, followed by a 2-day logarithmic growth phase during which the population doubled five to six times. The growth rate was 9 to 11 hr per population doubling. Sporulation commenced on day 3, and 40 to 50 spores were recovered from each infected cell. The life cycle was completed within 6 days, culminating in spores that were infectious for cultured cells. The antibiotic fumagillin at a dose of 1 ppm in the culture medium was microsporida-static.