To investigate phylogenetic relationships among Leuciscus species occurring in Portuguese inland waters, the cytochrome b gene was sequenced from representatives of the main rivers. This study supports the recognition of the species level for L. pyrenaicus, including populations from the southern Portuguese drainages (Tejo, Sado, and Guadiana drainages), and for L. carolitertii, including populations from the northern Portuguese drainages. The existence of two new species occurring in the extreme southwestern drainages of Mira and Arade is also suggested. The present results support the monophyly of the Mira and the Arade populations, as well as an early divergence of these two lineages. The present-day distribution of Leuciscus species is seen as a consequence of Pliocene and Pleistocene events, such as river disjunctions and posterior confluence in epicontinental seas and river captures. A mixture of haplotypes was observed in the Mondego and the Tejo drainages, which could be a consequence of ancient river captures, with a possible mitochondrial DNA introgression in the Tejo drainage and a recent introduction by man in the Mondego drainage. The pattern of differentiation among mtDNA haplotypes and their geographic distribution is discussed in terms of evolutionary aspects.