Representatives of fifteen validly described and three non-validly described species of Nocardia were assigned to nineteen groups based on an optimised PCR-randomly amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting technique. Species specific banding patterns were recognised for the representatives of N. brasiliensis, N. crassostreae, N. farcinica, N. otitidiscaviarum and N. seriola. Unique banding patterns were also seen for the type strains of N. brevicatena, N. carnea, N. salmonicida, N. uniformis and N. vaccinii, and for the single representatives of "N. fusca", "N. pseudosporangifera", and "N. violaceofusca". More than one banding pattern was detected for the N. asteroides, N. flavorosea, N. nova, N. pseudobrasiliensis and N. transvalensis strains though in the case of the representative strains of N. nova and N. transvalensis the patterns were similar for each of these species. The results are in line with current trends in nocardial systematics thereby indicating that PCR-randomly amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting provides valuable data for the classification and identification of pathogenic nocardiae to the species level.