The majority of the neurons in the adult nervous system of Manduca sexta are born postembryonically, during larval life. Stereotypic arrays of identifiable neuroblasts generate their clonal families or lineages commencing at the end of the second larval instar through pupal day 2, when the neuroblasts die (Booker and Truman, 1987a). We have used immunohistochemical techniques to follow the neurochemical differentiation of GABA and a peptide similar to molluscan small cardioactive peptide B (SCPB) in identified lineages. We report here the distribution and developmental acquisition of the expression of these putative transmitters. There are 24 postembryonic lineages in the second thoracic ganglion of the larvae (Booker and Truman, 1987a). Immunoreactivity against GABA and SCPB is seen only in a subset of these 24 clonal families. GABA immunoreactivity is confined to the progeny of the E, K, M, N, T, and X neuroblasts and is expressed by most or all of the neurons in these lineages. The SCPB-like immunoreactivity is found in a subset of the neurons in only two clonal groups, the K and M groups, and is colocalized with GABA. These results show that, though heterogeneity in transmitter type exists (GABA, GABA/SCPB), members of a given lineage share at least some features (GABA) in common. The onset of transmitter expression was followed in detail for the K- and M-lineage neurons. During the larval stages, the postembryonic lineage cells are developmentally arrested in a partially differentiated state (Booker and Truman, 1987a) and do not express transmitter immunoreactivity at this time. Their maturation resumes with the onset of metamorphosis.