Bacteria were isolated from 29 Mongolian gerbils, Meriones unguiculatus, with spontaneous aural cholesteatomas. We identified 148 cultures, 44 from the middle ear surface of cholesteatomas and 104 from cholesteatoma contents. We could only identify 63 cultures to the genus level, although we identified 85 cultures as belonging to 21 different species. We found on the surfaces of cholesteatomas representatives of 9 genera, from which 8 species could be identified, and representatives of 19 genera within the cholesteatoma sac, from which 21 species could be identified. The most common bacterial genera isolated were Staphylococcus, 'Pseudomonas, and Corynebacterium among the aerobic genera, and Bacteroides and Peptococcus among the anaerobic genera. The bacterial flora of gerbilline cholesteatomas was found to be diverse, resembling the flora found to be associated with human cholesteatomas. The flora also resembled the organisms found transitorily within the normal middle ear cavity of gerbils, except for a higher incidence of pseudomonads.