Red clover mottle virus (RCMV) is a member of the comoviruses, a group of picornavirus-like plant viruses. The X-ray structure of RCMV strain S has been determined and refined to 2.4 A. The overall structure of RCMV is similar to that of two other comoviruses, Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) and Bean pod mottle virus (BPMV). The sequence of the coat proteins of RCMV strain O were modeled into the capsid structure of strain S without causing any distortion, confirming the close resemblance between the two strains. By comparing the RCMV structure with that of other comoviruses, a structural fingerprint at the N terminus of the small subunit was identified which allowed subgrouping of comoviruses into CPMV-like and BPMV-like viruses.