Two bacterial strains, HKU54T and HKU55, were isolated from the oral cavity of two Chinese cobras (Naja atra) in Hong Kong. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed 100 % sequence identity between HKU54T and HKU55, and the two strains shared 99.0 % sequence identities with Tsukamurella inchonensis ATCC 700082T. The two strains had unique biochemical profiles distinguishable from closely related species of the genus Tsukamurella. DNA-DNA hybridization confirmed that they belonged to the same species (≥92.1±7.9 % DNA-DNA relatedness) but were distinct from all other known species of the genus Tsukamurella (≤52.6±5.3 % DNA-DNA relatedness). Chemotaxonomic and morphological analyses of the two strains also demonstrated results consistent with their classification in the genus Tsukamurella. The DNA G+C contents of strains HKU54T and HKU55 were 69.2±1.5 mol% and 69.2±1.3 mol% (mean±sd; n=3) respectively. A novel species, Tsukamurella serpentis sp. nov., is proposed to accommodate strains HKU54T and HKU55, with HKU54T (=JCM 31017T=DSM 100915T) designated as the type strain.