Bursaphelenchus platzeri n. sp., an associate of nitidulid beetles in southern California, is described and illustrated. Adult males and females of B. platzeri n. sp. were examined by scanning electron microscopy for ultrastructural comparisons with other members of the genus. Bursaphelenchus cocophilus (red ring nematode) appears to be the closest related taxon to B. platzeri n. sp. based upon shared morphological features of the fused spicules, female tail shape, phoresy with non-scolytid beetles, and molecular analysis of the near full-length small subunit (SSU) rDNA. Unfortunately, sequence data from the D2D3 expansion segments of the large subunit (LSU) rDNA and partial mitochondrial DNA COI did not help resolve the relationship of nearest relative. In addition to significant molecular sequence differences in SSU, LSU, and COI, B. platzeri n. sp., which is an obligate fungal feeder, can be differentiated from B. cocophilus because it is an obligate parasite of palms. Bursaphelenchus platzeri n. sp. can be differentiated from all other species of Bursaphelenchus by the length and shape of the female tail and spicule morphology. The spicules are fused along the ventral midline and possess unfused cucullae; the fused unit appears to function as a conduit for sperm. Population growth of B. platzeri n. sp. was measured in a time-course experiment at 25 degrees C in the laboratory on cultures of the fungus Monilinia fructicola grown on 5% glycerol-supplemented potato dextrose agar (GPDA). Nematode population densities rapidly increased from 25 to approximately 200,000/culture within 14 d and then plateaued for up to 28 d.