Monkeys were trained to fixate a small spot of light (fixation spot) and to saccade to a peripheral target if and only if the fixation spot was turned off. If the offset of the fixation spot preceded the onset of the peripheral target by a temporal gap of more than 140 ms the animals could change their direction of gaze after saccadic reaction times of no more than 70-80 ms (express-saccades). The reaction times of the express-saccades depend on the luminance and the size of the target and decrease from about 120 ms for near threshold targets by about 50 ms in a range of 2, 5 log units above threshold (gap duration 200 ms). The minimum reaction time and the target size for which the minimum is reached are functions of the retinal eccentricity of the target. Comparison with response latencies of afferent visual neurons suggests that the dependence of the reaction times of express- as well as regular-saccades on the physical parameters of the target is mostly determined by retinal factors. The short reaction times of the express-saccades are discussed in relation to the reaction times of other visually-guided goal-directed movements.