The intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) is an integral part of the circadian visual system. It receives direct retinal input and relays photic information to the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) through a geniculohypothalamic tract (GHT). In both rat and hamster, neuropeptide Y immunoreactive (NPY-IR) IGL cells project through the GHT to the SCN. However, the hamster GHT also contains enkephalin-IR (ENK-IR) fibers, presumably of IGL origin. In the present investigations, the IGL was examined for NPY-, ENK-, or dual-IR cells. Their projections to the SCN, contralateral IGL and pretectum were also studied. The results show that the hamster IGL contains both NPY- and ENK-IR neurons and that about 50% of these are immunoreactive to both peptides. Double-label retrograde analysis indicates that cells of each peptide class project to the SCN. Similarly, IGL neurons, many of which are NPY- and ENK-IR, project to the pretectum, particularly the posterior limitans nucleus. While numerous IGL neurons project contralaterally, very few are NPY- or ENK-IR.The distribution of SCN- and pretectum-projecting cells, in conjunction with the distribution of peptide-IR neurons, allows expansion of the IGL definition to include the region medial to the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus (VLG). The VLG is ventrolateral to the IGL and does not contain either neurons projecting to the SCN nor NPY- or ENK-IR cells, but does have numerous neurons projecting to the pretectum. The results substantiate and expand the previous definition of the hamster IGL, elaborate the species difference in IGL organization, and demonstrate the increased breadth of the circadian visual system.