We used a cyto-, myelo-, and chemoarchitectonic (distribution of SMI-32 and calbindin immunoreactivity) approach to assess whether the rostral histochemical area F5 of the ventral premotor cortex (PMv) comprises architectonically distinct areas, possibly corresponding to functionally different fields. Three areas were identified, occupying different parts of F5. One area, designated as "convexity" F5 (F5c), extends on the postarcuate convexity cortex adjacent to the inferior arcuate sulcus and is characterized, cytoarchitectonically, by a poorly laminated appearance, resulting from an overall cell population rather homogeneous in size and density. The other two areas, designated as "posterior" and "anterior" F5 (F5p and F5a, respectively), lie within the postarcuate bank at different anteroposterior levels. Major cytoarchitectonic features of F5p are a layer III relatively homogeneous in cell size and density, a cell-dense layer Va, and the presence of relatively large pyramids in layer Vb. Major cytoarchitectonic features of F5a are the presence of relatively large pyramids in lowest layer III and a prominent, homogenous layer V. Furthermore, our results showed that F5c and F5p border caudally with a caudal PMv area corresponding to histochemical area F4, providing additional evidence for a general subdivision of the macaque PMv into a caudal and a rostral part, corresponding to F4 and to the F5 complex, respectively. The present data, together with other functional and connectional data, suggest that the three rostral PMv areas F5p, F5a, and F5c correspond to distinct cortical entities, possibly involved in different aspects of motor control and cognitive motor functions.