Taxonomic studies were performed on ten hydrogen-oxidizing, facultatively chemolithotrophic bacteria that were isolated from volcanic mudflow deposits derived from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that these isolates belonged to the genus Cupriavidus of the Betaproteobacteria; sequence similarity values with their nearest phylogenetic neighbour, Cupriavidus basilensis, were 97.1-98.3 %. In addition to phylogenetic analysis, results of whole-cell protein profiles and biochemical tests revealed that these strains were members of two distinct species. DNA-DNA hybridizations and whole-cell protein profiles enabled these isolates to be differentiated from related Cupriavidus species with validly published names. The isolates were aerobic, Gram-negative, non-sporulating, peritrichously flagellated rods. Their G+C contents ranged from 65.2 to 65.9 mol% and their major isoprenoid quinone was ubiquinone Q-8. On the basis of these results, two novel species are proposed, Cupriavidus pinatubonensis sp. nov. [nine strains, with 1245T (=CIP 108725T=PNCM 10346T) as the type strain] and Cupriavidus laharis sp. nov. [one strain, the type strain 1263aT (=CIP 108726T=PNCM 10347T)]. It is also suggested that Ralstonia sp. LMG 1197 (=JMP 134) should be included in the species C. pinatubonensis.