During the phylogenetic study of the genus Sphingomonas and its closely related genera, we found that there existed errors in the 16S rRNA gene sequence of the type strain of the type species of Sphingomonas adhaesiva (D13722). Data suggested the wrong sequence should be replaced by the sequence under the accession number KY927401. As the new sequence shared 99.6 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with that of Sphingomonas ginsenosidimutans, the relationship between these two species was reevaluated in the present study. Analyses, based on the whole genome sequences, phenotypic characteristics and fatty acid profiles clearly show that S. adhaesiva and Sphingomonas ginsenosidimutans are two distinct species of the genus Sphingomonas. Considering the errors in the original descriptions of S. adhaesiva and S. ginsenosidimutans , we have emended the descriptions of the two species.