Twenty-four isolates of Aspergillus sojae, A. parasiticus, A. oryzae and A. flavus, including a number that have the capacity to produce aflatoxin, have been compared using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). Based on analysis of 12 different primer combinations, 500 potentially polymorphic fragments have been identified. Analysis of the AFLP data consistently and clearly separates the A. sojae/A. parasiticus isolates from the A. oryzae/A. flavus isolates. Furthermore, there are markers that can be used to distinguish the A. sojae isolates from those of A. parasiticus, which form the basis for species-specific markers. However, whilst there were many polymorphisms between isolates within the A. oryzae/A. flavus subgroup, no markers could be identified that distinguish between the two species. Sequencing of the ribosomal DNA ITS (internal transcribed spacers) from selected isolates also separated the A. sojae/A. parasiticus subgroup from the A. oryzae/A. flavus subgroup, but was unable to distinguish between the A. sojae and A. parasiticus isolates. Some ITS variation was found between isolates within the A. oryzae/A. flavus subgroup, but did not correlate with the species classification, indicating that it is difficult to use molecular data to separate the two species. In addition, sequencing of ribosomal ITS regions and AFLP analysis suggested that some species annotations in public culture collections may be inaccurate.