The taxonomic position of a thermoacidophilic crenarchaeote Sulfolobus sp. strain 7, previously isolated from the Beppu Hot Springs in the geothermal area of Kyushu Island, Japan, was investigated by cloning and sequencing, by phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence, by DNA-DNA homology with similar species, and by biochemical characterization of the isolate. This isolate is an obligate aerobe and grows optimally at 80 degrees C and pH2.5-3 under aerobic and chemoheterotrophic growth conditions by aerobic respiration rather than simple fermentation. In conjunction with the phenotypic properties, the present phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence and DNA-DNA hybridization experiments indicate that this isolate is related to the described Sulfolobus taxon and should be considered a novel species of the genus. We propose that this isolate is a novel species of the genus Sulfolobus that we name Sulfolobus tokodaii sp. nov. The type strain is strain 7 (JCM 10545).