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Cordyceps species, which are used in Chinese traditional medicines, are fungal parasites of insects. In this study the partial nucleotide sequences of 18 S ribosomal DNA from four Cordyceps species were determined and compared with the sequences of published ascomycetes. The sequence data support the concept that Cordyceps species belong to the pyrenomycetes. Based on sequence data the phylogenetic tree was constructed using the neighbor-joining (NJ) method. Diversity in the phylogenetic tree was found for Cordyceps species. A new classification of Cordyceps species can be constructed based on the phylogenetic information obtained from such rDNA sequences.