An immunofluorescence technique was developed for the in situ identification of specific bacteria in marine microfouling films. Microorganisms adherent to glass plates after 30 days of immersion in a synthetic seawater system were cultured and classified by biochemical tests, flagellar arrangement, and the API 20E system. All isolates were gram-negative aerobic or facultative motile rods, predominantly Pseudomonas spp. Rabbit antisera to the five dominant organisms including Achromobacter spp., Comamonas terrigena, P. putrefaciens, a yellow-pigmented Pseudomonas sp., and Vibrio alginolyticus were prepared. These antisera were shown to be species specific in indirect immunofluorescence assays against a battery of 26 marine isolates from 14 bacterial species, with the exception of antisera to the Pseudomonas spp, which cross-reacted with each other but not with test bacteria of other genera. These immunofluorescent reagents enabled the in situ identification of all five bacterial species in microfouling films. Low-surface-energy test plates had smaller numbers of adherent bacteria in microfouling films than medium-surface-energy test plates, suggesting that the degree of microfouling may be influenced by the surface energy. In addition, the reagents could identify up to 39% of the attached bacteria in microfouling films spontaneously formed on steel plates in flow cells deployed in different areas of the Atlantic Ocean. The microbial composition of the ocean-formed films varied with the geographical area of their formation. The present results indicate that immunofluorescence techniques may provide a rapid and reliable means to identify, in situ, specific bacteria in marine microfouling films.