A novel halophilic archaeon, strain CGSA15T, was isolated from water of Lake Chagannor in China. The strain grew optimally at 33–37 °C, pH 9.5–10.0 and 4.0–4.3 M NaCl. The major polar lipids were phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol phosphate methyl ester. The genomic DNA G+C content of strain CGSA15T was 60.2 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strain CGSA15T was a member of the genus Halorubrum and was related most closely to Halorubrum alkaliphilum AS 1.3528T (96.1 % similarity) and Halorubrum tibetense AS 1.3239T (96.9 %). Levels of DNA–DNA relatedness between strain CGSA15T and Hrr. alkaliphilum AS 1.3528T and Hrr. tibetense AS 1.3239T were 36.7 and 28.9 %, respectively. According to the phenotypic and genotypic data presented, strain CGSA15T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Halorubrum, for which the name Halorubrum luteum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is CGSA15T (=CGMCC 1.6783T =CECT 7303T).