A Gram-stain-positive, pleomorphic, oxidase-negative, non-motile isolate from the skin of a dog, designated strain 410(T), was subjected to comprehensive taxonomic characterization. Comparison of the 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the novel isolate showed highest similarities to the type strains of Corynebacterium humireducens, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis and Corynebacterium ulcerans (96.1-96.8 %). The quinone system consisted predominantly of MK-8(H(2)) and MK-9(H(2)). The polar lipid profile of strain 410(T) contained the major compounds diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, two unidentified phospholipids and four unidentified glycolipids. The polyamine pattern was composed of the major amines spermidine and spermine. In the fatty acid profile, predominantly straight-chain, saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids were detected (C(18 : 1)ω9c, C(16 : 1)ω7c, C(16 : 0)). These chemotaxonomic traits are in agreement with those reported for representatives of the genus Corynebacterium. Strain 410(T) tested negative for diphtheria toxin. Physiological properties as well as unique traits in the polar lipid profile could be used to distinguish strain 410(T) from the most closely related species. These data suggest that strain 410(T) represents a novel species of the genus Corynebacterium, for which we propose the name Corynebacterium epidermidicanis sp. nov. The type strain is 410(T) (= DSM 45586(T) = LMG 26322(T) = CCUG 60915(T)).