We have investigated variations in the rate of Mn2+-catalyzed phosphatidylglycerol transbilayer migration [Lentz, Madden, & Alford (1982) Biochemistry 21, 6799] with changes in phospholipid and cation concentration over more than a 100-fold range of both parameters. The slope of a double logarithmic plot of the rate of transbilayer lipid migration versus lipid concentration was 1.7, suggesting that lipid redistribution was dependent on vesicle aggregation or collision. A model involving transitory dimerization of vesicles was able to account for the concentration dependence of the transbilayer redistribution rate. The observed variation in rate with the logarithm of Mn2+ concentration was complex linear above 0.4 microM (corresponding to roughly 2.5 Mn2+ per vesicle) but involving a steeper dependence on Mn2+ below 0.04 microM (roughly four vesicles per Mn2+). The rate of transbilayer redistribution increased substantially between 37 and 56 degrees C, yielding a nonlinear Arrhenius plot. There was no evidence of either fusion or lipid exchange between vesicles at the low concentrations of Mn2+ needed for transbilayer redistribution. The data are consistent with a model suggesting transitory "micro-domains" of a dehydrated, interbilayer complex as involved in the transition state and are inconsistent with a model involving an inverted micelle-type structure for the transition state.