Two species of palm civet are currently known from Sri Lanka: the widespread common species, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus (Pallas, 1777), and the endemic golden species, Paradoxurus zeylonensis (Pallas, 1778). The latter has two ‘morphs’, one golden and one dark brown, both of which are recorded from all three major biotic zones in Sri Lanka (wet zone, dry zone, and cloud forest). We have examined specimens of both ‘morphs’ from all zones, and conclude that there are actually several species involved: names are available for two of them, we describe a third as a new species, and we draw attention to a probable fourth species, based on two distinctive specimens, the provenance of which are unfortunately unknown. The name zeylonensis probably does not apply to a golden palm civet at all. © 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 155, 238–251.