ABSTRACT A leaf rust attacking Aegilops speltoides in its natural habitat is reported for the first time. It was found in two locations in northern and central Israel. The two collections from A. speltoides resemble wheat leaf rust, Puccinia triticina, in most spore dimensions, in the morphology of the substomatal vesicle of the urediniospore, and in DNA content in pycniospore nuclei. Similarly to P. triticina isolates from wheat, isolates taken from A. speltoides are compatible with Thalictrum speciosissimum as an aecial host and they are crossed easily with wheat leaf rust isolates. However, isolates from A. speltoides differ from wheat leaf rust in their telial host range. They are avirulent to cultivated wheat cultivars, but attack hundreds of A. speltoides accessions that were immune to wheat leaf rust. This distinct host preference justifies delineation of the newly found leaf rust as a forma specialis (f. sp. speltoides) within P. triticina.