The timing and relative participation of concurrent pathways of carbohydrate metabolism as well as the extent of terminal respiratory activity were determined by radiorespirometry with 14C substrates and by enzyme assays for vegetative and sporulating cells of the bacterium Bacillus popilliae cultured in whole, intact Popillia japonica (Japanese beetle) larvae. During vegetative proliferation, the pentose phosphate pathway predominates in the bacterial cells with minor involvement of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway. As the cells proceed through sporulation, pentose phosphate and Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas activity remains constant. No tricarboxylic cycle activity is evident during growth and sporulation of B. popilliae. The results demonstrate (i) predominantly aerobic metabolism for carbohydrate assimilation within in vivo sporulating cells, (ii) a major contrast to the metabolism of other aerobic sporeforming bacteria that exhibit derepression of tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymatic activity at the onset of sporulation, and (iii) no causal necessity of the cycle to B. popilliae sporogeny.