A halophilic archaeal strain, YC93T, was isolated from Yuncheng salt lake in Shanxi Province, China. Cells were pleomorphic rods, stained Gram-negative and formed light-red-pigmented colonies on agar plates. Strain YC93T was able to grow at 25–50 °C (optimum 37 °C), with 1.4–4.8 M NaCl (optimum 2.0 M), with 0–1.0 M MgCl2 (optimum 0.05 M) and at pH 6.0–9.5 (optimum pH 7.0). Cells lysed in distilled water and the minimal NaCl concentration to prevent cell lysis was 8 % (w/v). 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that strain YC93T had two dissimilar 16S rRNA genes both of which were phylogenetically related to those of the two recognized members of the genus Halorussus (93.0–95.3 % similarity). The rpoB′ gene of strain YC93T was phylogenetically related to the corresponding gene of Halorussus rarus TBN4T (91.3 % similarity) and Halorussus ruber YC25T (90.5 %). The major polar lipids were phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester, phosphatidylglycerol sulfate and five glycolipids chromatographically identical to those of Halorussus rarus CGMCC 1.10122T. The DNA G+C content of strain YC93T was 64.6 mol%. The phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic properties suggested that strain YC93T represents a novel species of the genus Halorussus, for which the name Halorussus amylolyticus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is YC93T ( = CGMCC 1.12126T = JCM 18367T).