A simple, rapid procedure for the presumptive identification of anaerobic bacteria has been evaluated. Two hundred and thirty-five clinical isolates were identified using gas-liquid chromatography and 3-ml volumes of a few selected test media. These test media were stored aerobically and incubated in GasPak anaerobic jars. The average incubation time was 39 h. This procedure, when compared to the results of our standard identification procedure, correctly identified 98% of the isolates to the genus level, 83% to the species level, and 83% of Bacteroides fragilis and Bacteroides melaninogenicus to the subspecies level. Fifty-three of the isolates were also identified by using 0.5-ml volumes of test media stored, inoculated, and incubated in an anaerobic glove box. The 3-ml-and the 0.5-ml-volume procedures correctly identified comparable percentages of the 53 isolates.