Phylogenetic structure of four Lampetra species from the Pacific drainage of North America (western brook lamprey Lampetra richardsoni, Pacific brook lamprey Lampetra pacifica, river lamprey Lampetra ayresii and Kern brook lamprey Lampetra hubbsi) and unidentified Lampetra specimens (referred to as Lampetra sp.) from 36 locations was estimated using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian inferences did not correspond with any taxonomic scheme proposed to date. Rather, although L. richardsoni (from Alaska to California) and L. ayresii (from British Columbia to California) together constituted a well-supported clade distinct from several genetically divergent Lampetra populations in Oregon and California, these two species were not reciprocally monophyletic. The genetically divergent populations included L. pacifica (from the Columbia River basin) and L. hubbsi (from the Kern River basin) and four Lampetra sp. populations in Oregon (Siuslaw River and Fourmile Creek) and California (Kelsey and Mark West Creeks). These four Lampetra sp. populations showed genetic divergence between 2·3 and 5·7% from any known species (and up to 8·0% from each other), and may represent morphologically cryptic and thus previously undescribed species. A fifth population (from Paynes Creek, California) may represent a range extension of L. hubbsi into the Upper Sacramento River.