Intracellular recordings were obtained from biphasic- and triphasic-type horizontal cells (C cells) in the retina of the bowfin. For steady-state responses, both cell types displayed a linear stimulus-response function for responses up to at least 20% of maximum. In the linear range, responses to red/green mixtures were well predicted from the assumption that opposed inputs combine by simple summation. Action spectra were measured in the linear range for 30 biphasic and 12 triphasic cells. Biphasic cells showed their peak hyperpolarization near 530 nm and peak depolarization near 680 nm. Triphasic cells showed peak hyperpolarization near 450 nm, peak depolarization near 570 nm and small hyperpolarizing responses to deep red flashes (greater than 670 nm). The response to deep red test flashes was reduced by chromatic backgrounds which either depolarized or hyperpolarized the cell, in contrast to past findings in carp triphasic cells. In both classes of cells, the depolarizing input mechanism had a shorter latency than the hyperpolarizing mechanism, a result not previously observed in other fish retinas. Color opponency was maintained in both classes of C cells for stimuli of small diameter. The findings in bowfin and other species suggest that both feedback and direct pathways shape the depolarizing response of C cells.