Two stages can be distinguished in the differentiation of myotomal muscle fibres in Triturus vulgaris. In the first stage only synchronously differentiating myotomal cells are engaged; in the second stage mesenchymal cells also take part in the process. Myotomal cells (primary myoblasts) fuse to form 2-3 nucleate myotubes. Only in the caudal part of the embryo mononucleate myotubes persist. The mononucleate myotubes, like polynucleate ones, occupy the whole length of the myotome. The differentiation of myotubes is accompanied by vitellolysis. At further development stages mesenchymal cells enter the intermyotomal fissure, after which they migrate to the myotomes, between the myotubes. The cells that remain in the intermyotomal fissures retain their fibroblastic potential (they synthesise collagen). Their daughter cells adjoining the myotubes acquire myogenic abilities. Their myoblastic potential is evidenced by their ability to fuse with the myotube. Fusion of secondary myoblasts (of mesenchymal origin) with the myotube results in further growth of the myotubes. In T. vulgaris myotomal myotubes and muscle fibres developing from them are of myotomal-mesenchymal origin.