We studied the lateral and ventral pallial divisions of the claustroamygdaloid complex by means of analysis of expression patterns of the developmental regulatory genes Tbr1, Dbx1, Neurogenin 2, Emx1, Cadherin 8, and Semaphorin 5A in mouse developing telencephalon, from embryonic day 12.5 until birth. Our results indicate that these genes help to distinguish distinct lateral and ventral pallial histogenetic divisions in the embryonic telencephalon. Tbr1 is broadly expressed in both lateral and ventral pallial histogenetic divisions (the lateroventral migratory stream plus the mantle) during early and intermediate embryonic development; its signal becomes weak in parts of the mantle during late embryonic development. Dbx1 is strongly and specifically expressed in progenitor cells (ventricular zone) of the ventral pallium during early embryonic development, but there is no signal of this gene in the rest of the pallium nor the subpallium. Neurogenin 2 and Semaphorin 5A are both expressed in a ventral subdivision of the lateroventral migratory stream (called by us the ventral migratory stream). Further, specific nuclei of the claustral complex and pallial amygdala show strong expression of Neurogenin 2 and/or Semaphorin 5A, including the ventromedial claustrum and endopiriform nuclei, the lateral and basomedial amygdalar nuclei, the anterior and posteromedial cortical amygdalar areas, plus the amygdalo-hippocampal area. We interpret these nuclei or areas of the claustroamygdaloid complex as possible derivatives of the ventral pallium. In contrast, during embryonic development the dorsolateral claustrum, the basolateral amygdalar nucleus, and the posterolateral cortical amygdalar area do not express or show weak expression of Neurogenin 2 or Semaphorin 5A, but express selectively and strongly Cadherin 8 plus Emx1, and may be derivatives of the lateral pallium. The lateral pallial and ventral pallial divisions of the claustroamygdaloid complex appear to have some different sets of connections, although this requires further investigation. J. Comp. Neurol. 474:504–523, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.