The homeobox transcription factor orthodenticle homolog 2 (otx2) is supposed as an organizer that orchestrates a transcription factor network during photoreceptor development. However, its regulation in the process remains unclear. In this study, we have identified a zebrafish limb bud and heart-like gene (lbh-like), which is expressed initially at 30 hours post fertilization (hpf) in the developing brain and eyes. Lbh-like knockdown by morpholinos specifically inhibits expression of multiple photoreceptor-specific genes, such as opsins, gnat1, gnat2 and irbp. Interestingly, otx2 expression in the morphants is not significantly reduced until 32 hpf when lbh-like begins to express, but its expression level in 72 hpf morphants is higher than that in wild type embryos. Co-injection of otx2 and its downstream target neuroD mRNAs can rescue the faults in eyes of Lbh-like morphants. Combined with the results of promoter-reporter assay, we suggest that lbh-like is a new regulator of photoreceptor differentiation directly through affecting otx2 expression in zebrafish. Furthermore, knockdown of lbh-like increases the activity of Notch pathway and perturbs the balance among proliferation, differentiation and survival of photoreceptor precursors.