Our aim was to study the phylogenetic relationships of all known papillomaviruses (PVs) and the possibility of establishing a supratype taxonomic classification based on this information. Of the many detectably homologous segments present in PV genomes, a 291-bp segment of the L1 gene is notable because it is flanked by the MY09 and MY11 consensus primers and contains highly conserved amino acid residues which simplify sequence alignment. We determined the MY09-MY11 sequences of human PV type 20 (HPV-20), HPV-21, HPV-22, HPV-23, HPV-24, HPV-36, HPV-37, HPV-38, HPV-48, HPV-50, HPV-60, HPV-70, HPV-72, HPV-73, ovine (sheep) PV, bovine PV type 3 (BPV-3), BPV-5, and BPV-6 and created a database which now encompasses HPV-1 to HPV-70, HPV-72, HPV-73, seven yet untyped HPV genomes, and 15 animal PV types. Three additional animal PVs were analyzed on the basis of other sequence data. We constructed phylogenies based on partial L1 and E6 gene sequences and distinguished five major clades that we call supergroups. One of them unites 54 genital PV types, which can be further divided into eleven groups. The second supergroup has 24 types and unites most PVs that are typically found in epidermodysplasia verruciformis patients but also includes several types typical of other cutaneous lesions, like HPV-4. The third supergroup unites the six known ungulate fibropapillomaviruses, the fourth includes the cutaneous ungulate PVs BPV-3, BPV-4, and BPV-6, and the fifth includes HPV-1, HPV-41, HPV-63, the canine oral PV, and the cottontail rabbit PV. The chaffinch PV and two rodent PVs, Micromys minutus PV and Mastomys natalensis PV, are left ungrouped because of the relative isolation of each of their lineages. Within most supergroups, groups formed on the basis of cladistic principles unite phenotypically similar PV types. We discuss the basis of our classification, the concept of the PV type, speciation, PV-host evolution, and estimates of their rates of evolution.