We have identified three genes, expressed in zebrafish embryos, that are members of the engrailed gene family. On the basis of sequence comparisons and analyses of their expression patterns, we suggest that two of these genes, eng2 and eng3, are closely related to the En-2 gene of other vertebrates. The third gene, eng1, is probably the zebrafish homolog of En-1. Subsets of cells at the developing junction between the midbrain and hindbrain express three different combinations of these genes, revealing a previously unknown complexity of this region of the CNS. Other cells, for example, jaw and myotomal muscle precursors, express two of the three genes in combinations which, in the myotomal muscles, change during development. Cells in the developing hindbrain and fins express only a single engrailed gene. We propose that the fates and patterning of these cells may be regulated by the coordinate expression of particular combinations of these closely related homeoproteins.