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A novel species of ascomycetous yeast, Pichia insulana sp. nov., is described from necrotic tissue of columnar cacti on Caribbean islands. P. insulana is closely related to and phenotypically very similar to Pichia cactophila and Pichia pseudocactophila. There are few distinctions between these taxa besides spore type, host preference and locality. Sporogenous strains of P. insulana that produce asci with four hat-shaped spores have been found only on Curaçao, whereas there was no evidence of sporogenous P. cactophila from that island. In addition, sequences of the D1/D2 fragment of the large-subunit rDNA from 12 Curaçao strains showed consistent differences from the sequences of the type strains of P. cactophila and P. pseudocactophila. The type strain of P. insulana is TSU00-106.5T (=CBS 11169T =UCD-FST 09-160T).

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