Enzyme phenotypes, specifically esterases (EST) and malate dehydrogenase (MDH), were used to characterise different species of Meloidogyne from Chile. Esterase activity was highly polymorphic and was the most useful in the identification of the different species. Using this enzyme it is possible to characterise and identify M. ethiopica in about 80% of samples on grapevine, kiwi and tomatoes. Another three species, M. javanica, M. hapla and M. arenaria, were identified on tomatoes, kiwi and pomegranate with only one or a few populations. It was possible to detect minor atypical (unidentified) phenotypes, generally in mixed populations with M. ethiopica. Only the profiles N1 and H1 of MDH were detected. N1 was not specific and H1 allowed identification of M. hapla. Contaminated nursery stock has probably resulted in serious infestation by M. ethiopica in vineyards in various localities in Chile.