Fifteen isolates of Hortaea werneckii, causative agent of tinea nigra in man, were examined with respect to restriction fragment length polymorphisms of mitochondrial DNA. Seven types of mtDNA, interpreted as populations, could be distinguished, with similarities between the restriction patterns ranging from 32 to 79%. Much of the variance originated from length mutations. Of the seven populations four represented isolates from man, two of which also comprised isolates from other sources. This makes adaptation of H. werneckii towards association with man in its evolution unlikely; similarity in the chemical and/or physical characteristics of the different isolation sources, viz. salinity, seems more probable. mtDNA types were not correlated with geographic origin. Isolates with the same mtDNA type are widely geographically distributed.