Long-(SL > 6 microns) and short-sarcomere (SL < 4 microns) fibres were isolated from the claw muscle of the yabby (Cherax destructor) during limb regeneration and at different stages of the moult cycle. Long-sarcomere fibres were more susceptible to the changes resulting from the moult-induced atrophy compared with the short-sarcomere fibres. Signs of atrophy included fibre erosion, loss of myosin filaments, a reduction in the diameter of myosin filaments and changes associated with the Z line. The intracellular structure of the fibres, however, remained intact in both fibre types. Fibres taken immediately prior to ecdysis could not be fully activated with Ca2+ or Sr2+ without breaking. In contrast fibres taken within 4 h after ecdysis could develop and maintain full force when activated by Ca2+ or Sr2+. The results suggest that loss of myofibrillar proteins via the moult-induced atrophy and/or events associated with fibre elongation may occur in the period just prior to ecdysis and that these changes may be responsible for the fibres inability to function during the premoult stage. Results from this study showed that short-sarcomere fibres add sarcomeres by at least two different mechanisms (1) transverse sarcomere splitting and (2) Z line splitting. Long-sarcomere fibres appear to be elongated by mechanism(s) other than those used by short-sarcomere fibres which possibly involve large electron dense structures which are positioned between the myofibrils and within the A and I bands. Results from the regenerating chelae limb bud showed that sarcomeres form from separate units comprising myosin filaments and actin filaments anchored into Z lines respectively. These sub-sarcomeric units then join together to form sarcomeres. Myofibril formation is aided by electron dense regions which are closely associated with the membrane system. These fibres although short in length and still within the non-functional limb bud could be activated by Ca2+ and Sr2+ suggesting that full fibre function exists before the chelae become functional. Regenerating muscle fibres consisted predominantly of fibres with short-sarcomeres.