Actinomyces pyogenes is the second most frequently encountered pathogen, next only to Fusobacterium necrophorum, in liver abscesses of feedlot cattle. Ninety-one isolates, presumptively identified as A. pyogenes, isolated from liver abscesses of cattle were studied. Biochemical characteristics determined by the API 20 Strep kit were similar to those reported previously for A. pyogenes isolated from other infections, except that 18% of isolates hydrolyzed esculin. Nine isolates that resembled A. pyogenes in morphology and in certain biochemical characteristics, but fermented mannitol and/or raffinose, were called A. pyogenes-like (APL) organisms. The five antimicrobial agents, bacitracin, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tylosin, and virginiamycin were inhibitory to all strains of A. pyogenes and APLs. Generally, APL organisms had higher mean hemolytic and leukotoxic activities than A. pyogenes. All isolates of A. pyogenes and APLs produced proteases and neuraminidases. Ribotyping with endonucleases, including BstEII, ClaI, EcoRI, EcoRV, HaeIII, MboI, PvuII, SalI, and SmaI alone or in combinations, showed considerable genetic heterogeneity in both A. pyogenes and APLs. No specific ribopattern characteristic of each group was observed with any of the endonuclease used. The origin of A. pyogenes and APLs and the relative importance of APLs in causing liver abscesses in feedlot cattle are not known.