Abstract Of 809 soil samples collected from the seven islands of the Ryukyus, Japan, 107 samples (13.2%) contained Bacillus thuringiensis. The frequency of B. thuringiensis among the B. cereus group was 1.1% (235/21 842) on the average. The B. thuringiensis soil populations of the Ryukyus consisted of more than 22 H serogroups. The predominant H serotype was the H5ac/21 (serovar canadensis/colmeri), followed by the H3ad (serovar sumiyoshiensis) and Hl6 (serovar indiana). Geographically, most widely distributed H serogroups were the H16 and H10ac (serovar londrina); the former was recovered from five islands and the latter from three islands. Parasporal inclusions of the isolates were morphologically heterogeneous, roughly grouped into four categories: bipyramidal/cuboidal, spherical/ovoid, irregularly-pointed, and irregular- shaped. About 53% of the isolates formed spherical to ovoid parasporal inclusions. None of the isolates exhibited larvicidal activity against the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Only four isolates belonging to four different serotypes killed larvae of the mosquito, Aedes aegypti. These mosquito-specific isolates all produced spherical parasporal inclusions.