A novel anaerobic, mesophilic, amino-acid-utilizing bacterium, strain 158T, was isolated from an anaerobic digester of a wastewater treatment plant. Cells of strain 158T were non-motile, rod-shaped (2.0–3.0 × 0.8–1.0 μm) and stained Gram-negative. Optimal growth occurred at 37 °C and pH 7.0 in an anaerobic basal medium containing 1 % Casamino acids. Strain 158T fermented arginine, histidine, lysine and serine and showed growth on yeast extract, brain-heart infusion (BHI) medium and tryptone, but not on carbohydrates, organic acids or alcohols. The end products of degradation were: acetate, butyrate, H2 and CO2 from arginine; acetate, propionate, butyrate, H2 and CO2 from lysine; and acetate, propionate, butyrate, valerate, H2 and CO2 from histidine, serine, BHI medium, Casamino acids and tryptone. The DNA G+C content was 55.8 mol%. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain 158T showed only 92.6 % sequence similarity with that of Synergistes jonesii, the only described species of the ‘Synergistes’ group. The major cellular fatty acids were iso-C15 : 0 (16.63 %), iso-C15 : 0 3-OH (12.41 %) and C17 : 1 ω6c (9.46 %) and the polar fatty acids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylmonomethylamine; these fatty acid profiles did not resemble those of any recognized bacterial species. Due to the considerable differences in genotypic, phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics between strain 158T and those of its nearest relative, it is proposed that strain 158T represents a novel species in a new genus, Cloacibacillus evryensis gen. nov., sp. nov., in the phylum ‘Synergistetes’. The type strain is 158T (=DSM 19522T=JCM 14828T).