The role of cellular interactions in determining the fates of two identified motoneurons in the embryonic zebrafish was investigated by transplanting individual motoneurons from labeled donor embryos to unlabeled hosts. The results suggest that although these cells normally adopt different fates, they form an equivalence group in which one fate is primary and the other is secondary. Both cells are able to adopt the primary fate. A cell that has adopted the secondary fate can be induced to switch to the primary fate by ablating the cell that has adopted the primary fate, even many hours after axogenesis. Although interactions between the two cells appear to regulate which cell adopts the secondary fate, these interactions seem to be independent of neuromuscular activity.