The action pattern of several amylases was studied at 35, 50, and 70 degrees C using potato amylose, a soluble (Red Starch) and insoluble (cross-linked amylose) chromophoric substrate. With potato amylose as substrate, Bacillus stearothermophilus alpha-amylase (BStA) and porcine pancreatic alpha-amylase displayed a high degree of multiple attack (DMA, i.e., the number of bonds broken during the lifetime of an enzyme-substrate complex minus one), the fungal alpha-amylase from Aspergillus oryzae a low DMA, and the alpha-amylases from B. licheniformis, Thermoactinomyces vulgaris, B. amyloliquifaciens, and B. subtilis an intermediate DMA. These data are discussed in relation to structural properties of the enzymes. The level of multiple attack (LMA), based on the relation between the drop in iodine binding of amylose and the increase in total reducing value, proved to be a good alternative for DMA measurements. The LMA of the endo-amylases increased with temperature to a degree depending on the amylase. In contrast, BStA showed a decreased LMA when temperature was raised. Furthermore, different enzymes had different activities on Red Starch and cross-linked amylose. Hence, next to the temperature, the action pattern of alpha-amylases is influenced by structural parameters of the starch substrate.