Four genes - deltaA, deltaB, deltaC and deltaD - coding for homologues of the Notch ligand Delta have been discovered in zebrafish (Haddon et al., 1998b). We report here the cDNA sequence and expression pattern of deltaC. Its closest relatives are deltaB and Xenopus X-Delta-2. Unlike deltaA, deltaB, and deltaD, deltaC is not expressed in the majority of nascent primary neurons; but it is strongly expressed in the early retina, where it precedes other delta genes. It is also expressed in cranial ganglia, in sensory epithelia including ear and lateral line, and in scattered epidermal cells. In the mesoderm, expression is visible by 50% epiboly; it is seen subsequently in the tail bud, in stripes in the presomitic mesoderm and in the posterior half of each somite. There is expression also in notochord, blood vessels and pronephros.