Recent evidence indicates that the nigrotectal tract plays an important role in regulating the premotor responses of cells in the in the intermediate gray layer of the superior colliculus. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the ultrastructure of nigrotectal terminals and of their postsynaptic targets in the intermediate gray layer. Nigrotectal terminals were identified in the electron microscope by labeling them autoradiographically, following injections of tritiated proline into the substantia nigra pars reticulata. The majority of nigrotectal terminals contain a high proportion of pleomorphic vesicles and form symmetrical synaptic contacts. Most of these terminals synapse with small dendritic profiles (2.00 μm ± 0.83 SD), which may be the distal dendrites of neurons in the intermediate gray layer. Less than 10% of the labeled contacts are made with cell bodies or initial axonal segments. © 1987.