Cell lineage may contribute to determining the numbers, positions and types of cells formed during embryogenesis. In vitro clonal analyses show that vertebrate cells can autonomously maintain lineage commitments to single fates and that terminal development may include an invariant sequence of cell divisions. In addition, in vivo studies with Xenopus led to the proposal that clonal restrictions to spatial 'compartmental' domains arise during early development, analogous to what is observed in insects. In the zebrafish, individual gastrula cells generate clones of progeny that are confined within single tissues, but spatial restrictions have not been described. We now have examined the in vivo terminal cell lineages of zebrafish axial muscles. We obtained no evidence either for strict developmental regulation of division pattern or for spatial compartmentation within muscle lineages.