Ankyrin, the membrane attachment protein for human erythrocyte spectrin, is tightly linked in a 1:1 molar ratio with band 3 in detergent extracts of spectrin-depleted membranes. Ankyrin-linked band 3, which represents 10--15% of the total band 3, spans the membrane, and is nearly identical to the major band 3 by peptide analysis. Spectrin binds to solubilised ankyrin-linked band 3, but not to free band 3. A portion of band 3 remains firmly associated with detergent-extracted cytoskeletal proteins. It is concluded that a fraction of band 3 is attached to the erythrocyte cytoskeleton through association with ankyrin, which in turn is bound to spectrin.