The anterior dorsal ventricular ridge was examined in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, with cresyl violet and Golgi-Kopsch preparations. Four cytoarchitectonic areas (lateral dorsolateral, medial dorsolateral, intermediolateral, and lateral) can be distinguished by variations in the density of neurons and their tendency to form clusters of neurons with apposed somata. Three distinct types of neurons are distributed throughout these areas. Juxtaependymal neurons lie near the ventricular surface and have dendritic fields paralleling the ependymal layer. Their dendrites bear a moderate density of spines. Spiny neurons all have stellate shaped dendritic fields and dendrites that bear dendritic spines, but they vary greatly in the density of spines and the thickness of their dendrites. A very spiny variety has a high spine density and relatively thick dendrites. A moderately spiny variety has a moderate spine density and thin dendrites. A sparsely spiny variety has a low spine density and thick dendrites. Aspiny neurons have a relatively large number of dendrites that form a gnarled dendritic field and lack spines.