A population of a root-knot nematode species was isolated from Zoysia japonica in a turf nursery in Israel. Measurements and morphology of the second-stage juveniles and adult females, including perineal pattern, indicated this nematode to be Meloidogyne marylandi. In addition, esterase (Est) and malate dehydrogenase (Mdh) isozymes were studied for the first time for this species which is shown to be characterised by VS1 Est band and a N1c Mdh pattern. Host range tests showed that the turf grasses Stenotaphrum secundatum, Dactyloctenium australe and Paspalum vaginatum, corn (Zea mays) and oat (Avena sativa) were non-hosts or resistant. Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum), wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), bristle oat (Avena strigosa), Siberian millet (Echinochloa frumentaceae) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) were susceptible to the nematode. The second-stage juveniles of M. marylandi penetrated the elongation zone of wheat roots but did not reach the meristematic zone and settled with their anterior end toward the root tip. This contrasted with M. javanica or M. incognita which migrated to the meristematic zone, and turned around with their anterior toward the root base. Meloidogyne marylandi juveniles induced giant cells from vascular parenchyma cells and caused no or only small galls on the roots.