We report the consistent distribution of a population of pigmented trp-1-positive cells in several important septal and valvular structures of the normal mouse (C57BL/6) heart. The pigmented cell population was first apparent by E16.5 p.c. in the right atrial wall and extended into the atrium along the interatrial septum. By E17.5, these cells were found along the apical membranous interventricular septum near or below the surface of the endocardium. The most striking distribution of dark pigmented cells was found in the tricuspid and mitral valvular leaflets and chordae tendineae. The normal distribution of pigmented cells in the valvuloseptal apparatus of C57BL/6 adult heart suggests that a premelanocytic lineage may participate in the earlier morphogenesis of the valve leaflets and chordae tendineae. The origin of the premelanocyte lineage is currently unknown. The most likely candidate populations include the neural crest and the epicardially derived cells. The only cell type in the heart previously shown to form melanocytes is the neural crest. The presence of neural crest cells, but not melanocytes, in some of the regions we describe has been reported by others. However, previous reports have not shown a contribution of melanocytes or neural crest derivatives to the atrioventricular valve leaflets or chordae tendineae in mouse hearts. If these cells are of neural crest origin, it would suggest a possibly greater contribution and persistence of neural crest cells to the valvuloseptal apparatus than has been previously understood.