Limb muscles are formed from migratory muscle precursor cells (MMPs) that delaminate from the ventral region of dermomyotomes and migrate into the limb bud. MMPs remain undifferentiated during migration, commencing differentiation into skeletal muscle after arrival in the limb. However, it is still unclear whether the developmental mechanisms of MMPs are conserved in teleost fishes. Here, we investigate the development of pectoral fin muscles in the teleost medaka Oryzias latipes. Expression of the MMP marker lbx1 is first observed in several somites prior to the appearance of fin buds. lbx1-positive cells subsequently move anteriorly and localize in the prospective fin bud region to differentiate into skeletal muscle cells. To address the developmental mechanisms underlying fin muscle formation, we knocked down tbx5, a gene that is required for fin bud formation. tbx5 morphants showed loss of fin buds, whereas lbx1 expression initiated normally in anterior somites. Unlike in normal embryos, expression of lbx1 was not maintained in migrating fin MMPs or within the fin buds. We suggest that fin MMPs appear to undergo two phases in their development, with an initial specification of MMPs occurring independent of fin buds and a second fin bud-dependent phase of MMP migration and proliferation. Our results showed that medaka fin muscle is composed of MMPs. It is suggested that the developmental mechanism of fin muscle formation is conserved in teleost fishes including medaka. Through this study, we also propose new insights into the developmental mechanisms of MMPs in fin bud formation.