The marine planktonic dinophyceaen genus Azadinium is a primary source of azaspiracids, but due to their small size its diversity may be underestimated and information on its biogeography is still limited. A new Azadinium species, A. zhuanum was obtained from the East China Sea and Yellow Sea of China by incubating surface sediments. Five strains were established by isolating single germinated cells and their morphology was examined with light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Azadinium zhuanum was characterized by a plate pattern of Po, cp, X, 40 , 2a, 60 0 , 6C, 5S, 60 0 0 , 20 0 00 , by a distinct ventral pore at the junction of Po, the first and fourth apical plates, and a conspicuous antapical spine. Moreover, Azadinium poporum was obtained for the first time from the Mediterranean by incubating surface sediment collected from Diana Lagoon (Corsica) and a new strain of Azadinium dalianense was isolated from the French Atlantic. The morphology of both strains was examined. Small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA), large subunit ribosomal DNA (LSU rDNA) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences were obtained from cultured strains. In addition, LSU sequences were obtained by single cell sequencing of two presumable A. poporum cells collected from the French Atlantic. Molecular phylogeny based on concatenated SSU, LSU and ITS sequences revealed that A. zhuanum was closest to A. polongum. French A. poporum from Corsica (Mediterranean) and from the Atlantic showed some genetic differences but were nested within one of the A. poporum ribotypes together with other European strains. Azadinium dalianense from France together with the type strain of the species from China comprised a well resolved clade now consisting of two ribotypes. Azaspiracid profiles were analyzed for the cultured Azadinium strains using LC–MS/MS and demonstrate that the Mediterranean A. poporum strain produced AZA-2 and AZA-2 phosphate with an amount of 0.44 fg cell1. Azadinium zhuanum and A. dalianense did not produce detectable AZA. Results of the present study support the view of a high diversity and wide distribution of species belonging to Azadinium. The first record of AZA-2 producing A. poporum from the Mediterranean suggests that this species may be responsible for azaspiracid contaminations in shellfish from the Mediterranean Sea.