Canonical discriminant analysis of four morphometric characters of juveniles and restriction enzymes analysis of ribosomal DNA sequences were used to distinguish Heterodera arenaria, H. aucklandica, H. avenae, H. filipjevi, H. hordecalis, H. iri, H. latipons, H. litoralis, H. schachtii and an undescribed species from grasslands. The results of unweighted pair group cluster analysis showed that H. avenae populations formed three groups and H. filipjevi two groups at the 80% level of similarity. Intraspecific polymorphism was revealed by rDNA-RFLP studies and two types of ITS regions within H. avenae populations can be distinguished. The pattern of restriction bands obtained with BsuRI, PstI and TaqI clearly distinguished populations of H. filipjevi from other species of the H. avenae group. Further enzymes and their combinations distinguished the other species. There are no enzymes which differentiate European populations of H. avenae from H. arenaria. Morphometrics, restriction endonuclease cleavage maps of ITS regions and a dendrogram of putative phylogenetic relations of several cyst-forming nematode species are given.