Melanoma on the external ear occurred in 42 patients. An analysis of its classification, clinical features, and biologic behavior assists in placing the management of these tumors in a rational position. Superficial melanomas of the helix may be treated by wedge resection without elective neck dissection. The incidence of metastasis in this type of melanoma is 7%. Infiltrative melanomas, recurrent melanomas, and primary melanomas with metastasis to the cervical lymph nodes are all treated by excision of the ear, parotidectomy, and dissection of the lateral portion of the neck. The greatest deterrents to cure are malicious treatment of the primary melanoma and inadequate ablative surgery.