The taxonomic positions of two actinomycetes, strains Bc663 and 10bc312T, provisionally assigned to the genus Rhodococcus were determined using a combination of genotypic and phenotypic properties. The organisms have phenotypic properties typical of members of the genus Rhodococcus and were assigned to the 16S rRNA subgroup which contains Rhodococcus rhodochrous and closely related species. The two strains, which have many phenotypic features in common, belong to the same genomic species albeit one readily separated from Rhodococcus ruber with which they form a distinct phyletic line. The organisms were also distinguished from all of the species classified in the R. rhodochrous subgroup, including R. ruber, using a combination of phenotypic properties. The genotypic and phenotypic data show that strains Bc663 and 10bc312T merit recognition as a new species of Rhodococcus. The name proposed for the new species is Rhodococcus aetherivorans (10bc312T = DSM 44752T = NCIMB 13964T).