The lateral line system of teleosts has recently become a model system to study patterning and morphogenesis. However, its embryonic origins are still not well understood. In zebrafish, the posterior lateral line (PLL) system is formed in two waves, one that generates the embryonic line of seven to eight neuromasts and 20 afferent neurons and a second one that generates three additional lines during larval development. The embryonic line originates from a postotic placode that produces both a migrating sensory primordium and afferent neurons. Nothing is known about the origin and innervation of the larval lines. Here we show that a "secondary" placode can be detected at 24 h postfertilization (hpf), shortly after the primary placode has given rise to the embryonic primordium and ganglion. The secondary placode generates two additional sensory primordia, primD and primII, as well as afferent neurons. The primary and secondary placodes require retinoic acid signaling at the same stage of late gastrulation, suggesting that they share a common origin. Neither primary nor secondary neurons show intrinsic specificity for neuromasts derived from their own placode, but the sequence of neuromast deposition ensures that neuromasts are primarily innervated by neurons derived from the cognate placode. The delayed formation of secondary afferent neurons accounts for the capability of the fish to form a new PLL ganglion after ablation of the embryonic ganglion at 24 hpf.