Glugoides intestinalis, Microsporidium sp., Ordospora colligata, Gurleya vavrai, Larssonia obtusa and Flabelliforma magnivora are microsporidian parasites of planctonic freshwater crustaceans Daphnia spp. We performed a phylogenetic analysis of the small subunit ribosomal DNA which revealed their positions as polyphyletic. G. intestinalis, Microsporidium sp. and O. colligata, which are horizontally transmitted gut parasites with small spores and low virulence, group with different lineages. G. intestinalis is related to 2 microsporidia infecting lepidopterans and to Vittaforma corneae, which has been described as a human pathogen. It is thought that V. corneae may have an invertebrate as its natural host. Microsporidium sp. is a relative of the genera Enterocytozoon and Nucleospora, pathogens of man and fish respectively. O. colligata is the first species found to be closely related to the genus Encephalitozoon, which is comprised of 3 species that are parasites of homeothermic vertebrates. G. vavrai and L. obtusa are sister taxa that branch close to the Amblyosporidae, the only microsporidia with known intermediate hosts. This finding supports the presumption of secondary hosts for G. vavrai and L. obtusa, as it has not been possible to maintain these species in Daphnia in the laboratory. F. magnivora roots deep at the base of the phylum microsporidia with no close relative found so far.