In this study, we purified and characterized tetra- and triglycosyl glycolipids (GL-1 and GL-2, respectively) from two different colonial forms of Thermus scotoductus X-1, from T. filiformis Tok4 A2, and from T. oshimai SPS-11. Acid hydrolysis of the purified glycolipids liberated, in addition to the expected long-chain fatty acids, two components which were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as 16-methylheptadecane-1,2-diol and 15-methylheptadecane-1,2-diol. Fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry of the intact glycolipids indicated that a major proportion consisted of components with glycan head groups linked to long-chain 1,2-diols rather than to glycerol, although in all cases glycerol-linked compounds containing similar glycan head groups were also present. As in other Thermus strains, the polar head group of GL-1 from T. filiformis Tok4 A2 and from T. scotoductus X-1 colony type t2 was a glucosylgalactosyl-(N-acyl)glucosaminylglucosyl moiety. However, GL-2 from T. scotoductus X-1 colony type t1 and from T. oshimai SPS-11 was a truncated analog which lacked the nonreducing terminal glucose. Long-chain 1,2-diols have been previously reported in the polar lipids of Thermomicrobium roseum and (possibly) Chloroflexus aurantiacus, but to our knowledge, this is the first report of their detection in other bacteria and the first account of the structural determination of long-chain diol-linked glycolipids.