Different types of retinal ganglion cell show differences in their response properties. Here we investigated the question of whether these differences are related to the distribution of the synaptic input to the dendritic tree. We measured the distribution and density of synaptic input to the dendrites of midget and parasol ganglion cells in the retina of a New World monkey, the marmoset, Callithrix jacchus. Ganglion cells were retrogradely labeled by dye injection into parvocellular or magnocellular regions of the lateral geniculate nucleus and subsequently photo-filled. Presumed bipolar cell synapses were identified immunocytochemically using antibodies against the ribbon protein CtBP2 or the GluR4 subunit of the AMPA receptor. For all cells, colocalized immunoreactive puncta were distributed across the entire dendritic tree. The density of the presumed bipolar input to midget ganglion cells was comparable for both synaptic markers, suggesting that the AMPA receptor GluR4 subunit is expressed at all synapses between midget bipolar and midget ganglion cells. Midget ganglion cells had an average of nine colocalized immunoreactive puncta per 100 microm2 dendritic surface, and parasol cells had an average of seven colocalized immunoreactive puncta per 100 microm2 dendritic surface. The densities were comparable in different regions of the dendritic tree and were not influenced by the location of the cells with respect to the fovea. Our findings suggest that the differences in the response characteristics of midget and parasol cells are not due to differences in the density of synaptic input to their dendritic tree.