Plant-parasitic nematodes are small and extremely difficult to identify. Previous studies have demonstrated the potential for lectin- or antibody-assisted identification of nematodes. We present an extension of this technology, using antibody- or lectin-coated magnetic beads (Dynabeads) to recover target nematodes from mixtures of specimens. Lectins and antisera that bound specifically and reproducibly to the whole surface of second stage juveniles of Globodera rostochiensis and Meloidogyne arenaria were identified. These were then used as probes bound to Dynabeads to recover nematodes from test suspensions. While both types of probe isolated nematodes from suspension, antibody-coated beads recovered them more efficiently than beads coated with lectins. Other factors that affected the efficiency of recovery, such as the age of the nematode samples, were analysed. This study revealed that Dynabeads coated with a probe of suitable specificity could be used to extract nematodes from mixtures of species. This technology may ultimately be useful in 'non-expert systems' for routine detection and quantification of nematode species.