The complement receptor of the macrophage membrane recognizes particle-bound C3b but does not recognize particle-bound C3d. C3-b-coated sheep erythrocytes were bound to macrophages via their C3b receptors, and the preparations were then incubated with either latex particles or opsonized pneumococci (test particles). Macrophages ingested the test particles, but erythrocytes were not ingested; they remained bound to C3b receptors of the macrophage plasma membrane. Thus, a signal initiating ingestion via one type of receptor is not transmitted to all receptors which have the potential to mediate phagocytosis.