Rhodopsin is converted by light to an active photoproduct that triggers the transduction cascade. The active photoproduct must then be inactivated by some kind of chemical modification. The question addressed here is whether photoconversion of the inactive photoproduct to rhodopsin creates a modified form of rhodopsin that is unable to support transduction. This question was investigated in ultraviolet receptors of Limulus median eye by measuring the relative quantum efficiency of excitation after photoregeneration of rhodopsin from the inactive photoproduct. The results show that when this newly created rhodopsin absorbs a photon, no receptor potential is generated; i.e., the pigment is nontransducing. A dark process requiring 30-60 min returns rhodopsin to its transducing form.