Two extremely halophilic archaea, strains Cb34T and C170, belonging to the genus Halorubrum, were isolated from the brine of the hypersaline lake Aran-Bidgol in Iran. Cells of the two strains were motile, pleomorphic rods, stained Gram-variable and produced red-pigmented colonies. Strains Cb34T and C170 required 25 % (w/v) salts, pH 7.0 and 37 °C for optimal growth under aerobic conditions; 0.3 M Mg2+ was required. Cells of both isolates were lysed in distilled water and hypotonic treatment with < 10 % NaCl provoked cell lysis. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities showed that these two strains were closely related to Halorubrum cibi B31T (98.8 %) and other members of the genus Halorubrum. In addition, studies based on the rpoB' gene revealed that strains Cb34T and C170 are placed among the species of Halorubrum and are closely related to Halorubrum cibi B31T, with rpoB' gene sequence similarity less than or equal to 95.7 %. The polar lipid patterns of both strains consisted of phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester, phosphatidylglycerol sulfate and sulfated mannosyl glucosyl diether. The DNA G+C content was 62.1-62.4 mol%. DNA-DNA hybridization studies confirmed that strains Cb34T and C170 constitute a distinct species. Data obtained in this study show that the two strains represent a novel species, for which the name Halorubrum halodurans sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Cb34T ( = CECT 8745T = IBRC-M 10233T).