Enrichment cultures inoculated with hydrothermally influenced nearshore sediment from Papua New Guinea led to the isolation of an arsenic-tolerant, acidophilic, facultatively aerobic bacterial strain designated PNG-AprilT. Cells of this strain were Gram-stain-negative, rod-shaped, motile and did not form spores. Strain PNG-AprilT grew at temperatures between 4 °C and 40 °C (optimum 30–37 °C), at pH 3.5 to 8.3 (optimum pH 5–6) and in the presence of up to 2.7 % NaCl (optimum 0–1.0 %). Both arsenate and arsenite were tolerated up to concentrations of at least 0.5 mM. Metabolism in strain PNG-AprilT was strictly respiratory. Heterotrophic growth occurred with O2 or nitrate as electron acceptors, and aerobic lithoautotrophic growth was observed with thiosulfate or nitrite as electron donors. The novel isolate was capable of N2-fixation. The respiratory quinones were Q-8 and Q-7. Phylogenetically, strain PNG-AprilT belongs to the genus Burkholderia and shares the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with the type strains of Burkholderia fungorum (99.8 %), Burkholderia phytofirmans (98.8 %), Burkholderia caledonica(98.4 %) and Burkholderia sediminicola (98.4 %). Differences from these related species in several physiological characteristics (lipid composition, carbohydrate utilization, enzyme profiles) and DNA–DNA hybridization suggested the isolate represents a novel species of the genus Burkholderia , for which we propose the name Burkholderia insulsa sp. nov. The type strain is PNG-AprilT ( = DSM 28142T = LMG 28183T).