A very general class of Runge-Kutta methods for Volterra integral equations of the second kind is analyzed. Order and stage order conditions are derived for methods of order p and stage order q = p up to the order four. We also investigate stability properties of these methods with respect to the basic and the convolution test equations. The systematic search for A- and V0-stable methods is described and examples of highly stable methods are presented up to the order p = 4 and stage order q = 4. Â© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.