Two iridovirus isolates recovered from cod (Gadus morhua) and turbot (Psetta maxima) in Denmark were examined in parallel with a panel of other ranaviruses including frog virus 3 (FV3), the reference strain for the genus Ranavirus. The isolates were assessed according to their reactivity in immunofluoresent antibody tests (IFAT) using both homologous and heterologous antisera and their amplification in PCR using primers targeting five genomic regions. The corresponding PCR fragments were sequenced, and the sequences obtained were used in phylogenetic analysis. In addition, the pathogenicity to rainbow trout under experimental challenge conditions was investigated. The viruses were serologically and genetically closely related to highly pathogenic ranaviruses such as European catfish iridovirus (ECV), European sheatfish iridovirus (ESV) and epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV). The challenge trials indicate that rainbow trout fry cultured at 15A degrees C are not target species for the virus isolates in the present panel. We suggest that the two isolates belong in the genus Ranavirus and propose the name Ranavirus maxima (Rmax) for the turbot isolate.