The European Society of Nematologists held its 31th International Symposium in Adana, Turkey from September 23rd - 27th 2012. Many interesting papers were presented, i.o. ‘Looking for a needle in a hay-stack: diagnostic kits for the detection of plant parasitic nematodes in complex DNA backgrounds’ and ‘Insight in phylogenetic relationships among nematodes based on a phylum-wide molecular framework of ~ 2,500 full-length small subunit ribosomal DNA sequences’.