Five isolates designated as B45, D83A, A206A, A85 and E49 found to possess lipolytic activities were taxonomically classified on the basis of their phylogenetic, phenotypic and chemotaxonomic characteristics. The isolates were determined to be gram-negative, catalase and oxidase positive, hydrolyzing Tween 80 and 60 but not starch, need 3.5-4 M NaCl for optimal growth and lack of anaerobic growth with arginine or DMSO. All isolates had the highest lipolytic activity at pH 8.5. Lipase and esterase activities increased with salt concentration up to 3-4.5 M NaCl, and decreased at 5 M NaCl. Esterase and lipase showed their maximal activities at 50-55 degrees C and 60-65 degrees C, respectively. The phylogenetic tree constructed by the neighbor-joining method indicated that the strain B45 and A85 were closely related to the members of genera Halovivax and Natrinema, respectively. The closest relative of the strain A206A and D83A were found to be Haloterrigena saccharevitans. The strain E49 displayed a more distant relationship to known strains.