Two bacterial strains, designated MT01(T) and MT12(T), isolated from rat faeces were characterized by using a polyphasic taxonomic approach that included analysis of their phenotypic and biochemical features, cellular fatty acid profiles, menaquinone profiles and phylogeny based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. The 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed that these strains were members of the family 'Porphyromonadaceae'. The strains shared 94 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with each other and were related to Odoribacter splanchnicus NCTC 10825(T) (86-87 % sequence similarity). The strains consisted of obligately anaerobic, non-pigmented, non-spore-forming, non-motile, Gram-negative rods. Growth of the strains was inhibited on medium containing 20 % bile. The two strains produced significant levels of butyric and isobutyric acids as end products from glucose. Although the major cellular fatty acid of these two strains and O. splanchnicus JCM 15291(T) was iso-C(15 : 0), strains MT01(T) and MT12(T) showed a higher level of iso-C(15 : 0) (66 and 74 %, respectively) than did O. splanchnicus JCM 15291(T) (48 %). In addition, the ratios of iso-C(15 : 0) to anteiso-C(15 : 0) in whole-cell methanolysates of the two isolates were very much higher than that of O. splanchnicus JCM 15291(T). The major menaquinone of the isolates was MK-10. This menaquinone composition was different from those of other genera of the family 'Porphyromonadaceae', such as Barnesiella (predominant menaquinones: MK-11 and MK-12), Odoribacter (MK-9), Paludibacter (MK-8), Parabacteroides (MK-9 and MK-10), Porphyromonas (MK-9 and MK-10) and Tannerella (MK-10 and MK-11). Menaquinone composition is therefore an important chemotaxonomic characteristic of these micro-organisms. Strains MT01(T) and MT12(T) have DNA G+C contents of 46 mol%. On the basis of these data, strains MT01(T) and MT12(T) represent two novel species of a novel genus, for which the names Butyricimonas synergistica gen. nov., sp. nov. and Butyricimonas virosa sp. nov., respectively, are proposed. The type strains of B. synergistica and B. virosa are MT01(T) (=JCM 15148(T) =CCUG 56610(T)) and MT12(T) (=JCM 15149(T)=CCUG 56611(T)), respectively.