Direct comparison of the absorption and circular dichroic spectra of dark- and light-adapted purple membrane from Halobacterium cutirubrum and Halobacterium halobium indicated no apparent species differences. In addition, sequential bleaching and regeneration of the purple membrane with concomitant monitoring of the absorption and circular dichroic spectra showed no species differences as well. Furthermore, perturbation of the structure of the purple membrane from either species with a detergent, Triton X-100, yielded similar spectral changes. It was concluded: (i) no apparent differences exist in the molecular organization and protein fine structure of the two purple membranes, (ii) if exciton interaction among the retinal chromophores is a reasonable possibility in the case of the purple membrane from Halobacterium halobium, it must be similarly so for the membrane from Halobacterium cutirubrum, (iii) the effects of light adaptation on the membrane structure of both species are essentially the same, and (iv) the underlying molecular mechanisms for the bleaching and regenerative processes must be similar, if not identical, for the purple membranes of the two species. © 1978 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.