The 16S rRNA gene sequences of Mycoplasma cavipharyngis and Mycoplasma fastidiosum have been determined. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these species formed a new cluster within the so-called pneumoniae group of the mollicutes (class Mollicutes). This cluster will be referred to as the M. fastidiosum cluster. Interestingly, the M. fastidiosum cluster formed a sister lineage to the haemotrophic bacteria. Eperythrozoon spp. and Haemobartonella spp. The two latter genera, formerly classified as rickettsias, formed a stable phylogenetic entity in the tree as judged from branch lengths, bootstrap values and sequence signatures. Thus, the members of the M. fastidiosum cluster are the closest known relatives to the haemotrophic bacteria. Our data strongly support that the haemotrophic bacteria should be reclassified to reflect their actual phylogenetic affiliation.