Previous investigations demonstrated three taxonomic groups among 22 clinical isolates of Mycobacterium smegmatis. These studies were expanded to 71 clinical isolates, of which 35 (49%) (group 1) were identical to five ATCC reference strains including the type strain ATCC 19420T. Twenty-eight isolates (39%) were group 2, and eight isolates (11%) were group 3. Isolates of groups 2 and 3 were most often associated with post-traumatic or post-surgical wound infections including osteomyelitis, were susceptible to sulfamethoxazole, amikacin, imipenem and the tetracyclines, variably resistant to clarithromycin, and susceptible (group 1), intermediately resistant (group 2) or resistant (group 3) to tobramycin. The three groups were similar by routine biochemical and growth characteristics, but had different mycolic acid dimethoxy-4-coumarinylmethyl ester elution patterns by HPLC and different PCR-restriction enzyme patterns of a 439 bp fragment of the hsp-65 gene. Group 3 isolates differed from group 1 by 18 bp by 16S rRNA sequencing and exhibited < 25% homology by DNA-DNA hybridization, being most closely related to Mycobacterium mageritense. The 16S rRNA of group 1 and group 2 isolates differed by only 3 bp, but by DNA-DNA hybridization they exhibited only 40% homology. The following names are proposed: Mycobacterium goodii sp. nov. for group 2 isolates (type strain ATCC 700504T = MO69T), Mycobacterium wolinskyi sp. nov. for group 3 isolates (type strain ATCC 700010T = MO739T) and Mycobacterium smegmatis sensu stricto for group 1 isolates.