The present study was undertaken to investigate the possibility that high egg vitamin A (VA) status in combination with elevated egg incubation temperatures may cause deformities in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Egg batches selected for their total VA concentration were exposed to low (normal, 8 degrees C) or elevated (14 degrees C) egg incubation temperatures. Temperature was the main factor causing bone deformities such as warped gill opercula, fin and jaw deformities, but not for the development of spinal deformities where all groups displayed a 'baseline' occurrence of mild deformity (decreased vertebral size in the cephalic region) and no systematic variation in the occurrence of serious spinal deformities (fused vertebrae). A possible effect of egg incubation temperature fluctuation was found for the groups reared at low temperatures. An indication of a negative effect of elevated egg VA status for the development of organ deformities such as missing septum transversum and situs inversus was found in addition to temperature effects, however, no firm conclusions could be drawn from the present data. The phenotypes for temperature-induced deformities resembled the phenotype of VA-induced deformities, but no clear conclusions on the causality of the deformities found in the present study could be drawn. Egg incubation temperatures, both absolute temperature and temperature variations, should therefore be strictly controlled.