For the study of development of pigmentation, compared with mammalian models, fish offer the advantage of multiple chromatophore types and ready access to the developing embryo for observation and experimental manipulation. Compared with zebrafish embryos, medaka embryos have an additional unique chromatophore-type and superb properties for conditional mutation studies. The rich resources of medaka mutants, combined with data obtainable from other species, potentially offer information not otherwise readily available regarding chromatophore lineage. Here we summarize the embryonic development of normal medaka pigment pattern, based on observations using embryos of a panel of wild type and mutant fish. A more detailed description of development is available in the appendix of the on-line version of this paper (see Supplementary Material). We make some comparisons with zebrafish development to emphasize the increased power of both systems when utilized together. These two models will, in combination, be a powerful system for studies of the embryogenesis and evolution of pigmentation.