Previous immunohistochemical observations using the monoclonal antibody (XL-1) which recognizes all types of leukocytes in Xenopus laevis revealed the occurrence of XL-1+ cells in the mesenchyme throughout the early larval body, before the appearance of any lymphocytes. The present experiments were performed to determine whether these leukocytes originate, like lymphocytes and red blood cells (RBCs), in the ventral blood islands (VBI) or the dorsolateral plate (DLP). For tracing the derivation of cells, a specific staining by quinacrine to nuclei of X. laevis and Xenopus borealis hybrid (LB) cells was used to distinguish them from X. laevis (LL) cells. Orthotopic graftings of VBI tissue from st.22-23 LB embryos to the stage-matched LL embryos and examinations at st.44-45 before differentiation of the lymphocytes showed that the proportion of XL-1+ LB cells was always significantly lower than that of RBCs with the same marker in all experimental larvae. The head (LB)-body (LL) chimeras from st.22-23 embryos and culture of the head-portions as VBI- and DLP-free explants from st.14-23 embryos both demonstrated that a significant number of XL-1+ cells which had originated in the head portions had begun to differentiate by st.42-43. These results indicate that there is a significant population of larval nonlymphoid leukocytes (mostly macrophages) that do not originate from either the VBI or DLP region, and are distributed in the mesenchyme throughout the body.