We have determined the sequence of the inverted repeats and duplicated target DNA of the halobacterial insertion elements ISH2 (520 bp), ISH23 (900 bp) and ISH24 (3000 bp) associated with bacterio-opsin (bop) mutants. ISH2 has a perfect 19 bp inverted repeat (3,5), while both ISH23 and ISH24 have imperfect inverted repeats of 29 bp and 14 bp respectively. ISH23 was shown to be highly homologous to ISH50 (6). Variable lengths of duplicated target DNA are found when ISH2 and ISH23 (ISH50) transpose into different sites. A 550 bp DNA insert ("ISH25") reverts the Bop mutation caused by ISH24. "ISH25" lacks typical structural features of a transposable element. "ISH25" and ISH24 are found adjacent to each other upstream of the bop gene. An identical arrangement of "ISH25" and ISH24 is found in the cccDNA of H. halobium NRC817. Comparative sequence analysis of both areas suggests that the translocation of "ISH25" to the bop gene region occurred by a recombination event.