The taxonomic status of the pheasant superspecies Lophura leucomelanos and Lophura nycthemera has been unclear since 1948. Molecular techniques provided the opportunity to clarify the situation. Using sequences of mitochondrial DNA (800 nucleotides from the D-loop, plus 400 from the cyt b) from 49 specimens belonging to 10 subspecies (plus two outgroups), we constructed a phylogeny of the subspecies of L. nycthemera and L. leucomelanos. Our data support the monophyly of both species. L. l. lineata and L. l. crawfurdi belong to L. leucomelanos and not to L. nycthemera (suggested by other authors). Our data also confirm a northern locality of origin (Central Buthan) for L. l. moffitti, and have clarified the relationships between subspecies within each species: there are three groups within L. leucomelanos and two within L. nycthemera.