We report the characterization of 25 microsatellite loci isolated from the macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus). Thirteen loci were arranged into four multiplex sets for future genetic studies of macaroni penguin populations. All 25 loci were tested separately in each of four other penguin species [Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica), gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) and king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)]. Between eight and 12 loci were polymorphic per species. These loci are expected to be useful for studies of population genetic structure in a range of penguin species.