Three strains of anaerobic Gram-stain-negative, short to longer rod-shaped bacteria isolated from the caecum of chicken in Indonesia were studied using a polyphasic taxonomic approach. These strains belonged to the genus Bacteroides, based on sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and hsp60 (groEL) genes, with similarities of 93.2-94.1 and 89.8-90.8 %, respectively, to the closest recognized species, Bacteroides coprocola JCM 17929T. Sugar fermentation and enzyme characteristics, cellular fatty acid profiles, menaquinone profiles and metabolic end products were also investigated. Furthermore, DNA-DNA hybridization studies confirmed that the three novel strains are different from the closest related species. The strains were also found to be distinct from each other on the basis of ribotype profiles. The DNA G+C contents of the three strains were 41.1-41.8 mol%. Based on phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics, a novel species, Bacteroides caecigallinarum sp. nov., is proposed (type strain C13EG111T = LIPI12-4-Ck773T = JSAT12-4-Ck773T = InaCC B455T = NBRC 110959T).