Plant-parasitic nematodes of the genus Xiphinema Cobb, 1913 comprise a complex group of nematode species, some of which are important vectors of plant viruses. During a field survey to determine the soil health of an abandoned honeybush ( Cyclopia genistoides ) monoculture, a high density of the dagger nematode, Xiphinema oxycaudatum Lamberti & Bleve-Zacheo, 1979 ( Nematoda , Dorylaimidae ), was observed in soil around the roots of honeybush plants in an abandoned farmland at Bereaville, an old mission station in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Soil samples were taken from the rhizosphere of plants and nematodes were extracted from the soil using a modified extraction tray method. Specimen of the dagger nematodes were processed for scanning electron microscopy, morphological and molecular analysis. Molecular profiling of the nematode species was done in order to give an accurate diagnosis and to effectively discriminate the nematode from other species within the Xiphinema americanum group. Phylogenetic analysis based on the D2D3 expansion segment of the 28S gene supported a close relationship of species within the americanum group, however, the protein-coding cytochrome oxidase ( coxI) of the mitochondrial gene provided a useful tool for distinguishing the nematode from other species within the group. This study represents the first report of X. oxycaudatum from South Africa.