Fibrobacter succinogenes rapidly colonizes the preruminant calf rumen and becomes a dominant cellulolytic bacterium in the rumen after weaning. Although F. succinogenes actively degrades cellulose in the rumen, it seems that there is no or little of its substrate, cellulose, in the rumen of preweaned calves. We thus evaluated the ability of F. succinogenes to utilize lactose, a main sugar of milk, with or without the presence of cellobiose. We grew F. succinogenes S85 on media containing 2.5% lactose combined with 0%-0.2% cellobiose or a medium with 0.2% cellobiose but without lactose. The generation times on the 0.2% cellobiose medium and the 2.5% lactose medium were 1.9 and 16.2 h, respectively. The bacterium showed rapid growth on cellobiose and diauxic growth on the lactose media containing 0.05%-0.2% cellobiose. Moreover, the production of β-galactosidase was low in the presence of 0.1%-0.2% cellobiose. Since the β-galactosidase contained a signal peptide and a Por secretion system C-terminal sorting domain, we speculate that the β-galactosidase would be secreted from the bacterial cells by the Por secretion system. Our data indicate the possibility that F. succinogenes could colonize preruminant calf rumen, consuming the lactose present in cow milk.