A new micelle-mediated extraction method was developed for preconcentration of ultratrace Hg(II) ions prior to spectrophotometric determination. 2-(2'-Thiazolylazo)-p-cresol (TAC) and Ponpe 7.5 were used as the chelating agent and nonionic surfactant, respectively. Hg(II) ions form a hydrophobic complex with TAC in a micelle medium. The main factors affecting cloud point extraction efficiency, such as pH of the medium, concentrations of TAC and Ponpe 7.5, and equilibration temperature and time, were investigated in detail. An overall preconcentration factor of 33.3 was obtained upon preconcentration of a 50 mL sample. The LOD obtained under the optimal conditions was 0.86 mu g/L, and the RSD for five replicate measurements of 100 mu g/L Hg(II) was 3.12%. The method was successfully applied to the determination of Hg in environmental water samples.