Muscle development in teleost embryos has been shown to depend on myogenic cell recruitment from the dermomyotome (DM). However, little is known as to the cellular mechanisms that account for myotome growth after the dissociation of the DM. Here we combine immunolabeling for cell-specific markers with quantitative analysis to determine the sources and patterns of activation of myogenic cells in pearlfish larvae. Results demonstrate that appearance of mitotically active myogenic precursors inside the myotome coincides with the dissociation of the DM. Such cells are preferentially aggregated within the posterior lateral fast muscle. We therefore propose a growth model in which a pool of proliferative DM-derived precursors transferred to the posterior lateral fast muscle functions as an important source of myogenic cell spread to carry forward stratified fast muscle hyperplasia. This indicates that postembryonic teleost muscle growth includes a cellular mechanism that has no direct equivalent in the amniotes. Developmental Dynamics 238:2442–2448, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.