An orange-pigmented, non-motile, coccoid bacterial strain, designated TR0125T, was isolated from dust samples collected in the high atmosphere above Japan. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the strain was within the radiation of Deinococcus species. The major peptidoglycan amino acids were D-glutamic acid, glycine, D-alanine, L-alanine and ornithine. The predominant fatty acids were iso-C17:0, iso-C17:1omega9c and iso-C15:0. Strong resistance to desiccation, UV-C and gamma radiation and high DNA G+C content also supported the affiliation of strain TR0125T to the genus Deinococcus. Strain TR0125T showed the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity value (95.7%) to the type strain of Deinococcus apachensis, and phylogenetic analysis showed that it was further separated from D. apachensis than from Deinococcus geothermalis, indicating that strain TR0125T was not a member of these two Deinococcus species. In addition, phenotypic differences were found between strain TR0125T and the type strains of these two Deinococcus species. Therefore, a novel species of the genus Deinococcus, Deinococcus aerius sp. nov. (type strain, TR0125T=JCM 11750T=DSM 21212T), is proposed to accommodate this isolate.