Two different forms of Chinese pangolins can be recognized according to the color of their scales, i.e., brown and dusky. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) purified from the livers of seven dusky and six brown Chinese pangolins from the same locality, using cleavage patterns from 19 restriction enzymes. From the 19 6-bp recognition enzymes used, 51-56 sites were observed. By combining the cleavage patterns for each enzyme, the 13 samples were classified into four restriction types: two in dusky and two in brown Chinese pangolins. The estimated number of nucleotide substitutions per site in dusky and brown types is 0.002, and that between dusky and brown types is 0.012. Divergence between brown and dusky forms began 0.6 Myr ago, provided the mean rate of sequence divergence is 0.02 per Myr in mtDNA. Our results suggest that there is considerable divergence in Chinese pangolins, and brown and dusky Chinese pangolins may be quite different forms or, at least, belong to different maternal groups.