Rods and cones are functionally and morphologically distinct. We previously identified N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1b (ndrg1b) in carp as a cone-specific gene. Here, we show that NDRG1b and its paralog, NDRG1a-1, contribute to photoreceptor outer segment (OS) formation in zebrafish. In adult zebrafish photoreceptors, NDRG1a-1 was localized in the entire cone plasma membranes, and also in rod plasma membranes except its OS. NDRG1b was expressed specifically in cones in the entire plasma membranes. In a developing retina, NDRG1a-1 was expressed in the photoreceptor layer, and NDRG1b in the photoreceptor layer plus inner nuclear layer. Based on our primary knockdown study suggesting that both proteins are involved in normal rod and cone OS development, NDRG1a-1 was overexpressed or NDRG1b was ectopically expressed in rods. These forced-expression studies in the transgenic fish confirmed the effect of these proteins on the OS morphology: rod OS morphology changed from cylindrical to tapered shape. These taper-shaped rod OSs were not stained with N,N'-didansyl cystine that effectively labels infolded membrane structure of cone OS. The result shows that rod OS membrane structure is preserved in these taper-shaped OSs and therefore, suggests that tapered OS morphology is not related to the infolded membrane structure in cone OS.