Two entomopathogenic nematode strains (Beth 11 and Beth 22) were isolated by trapping with larvae of Galleria mellonella from soil samples taken from the fields near Bethlehem, West Bank. The total length of the nematode dauer juveniles fall within the description for Heterorhabditis indica. Crossbreeding experiments confirmed the designation of the new strains to H. indica. Offspring were recorded when males or females of the Bethlehem strains were cultured together with males or females of the H. indica type strain LN2. No offspring were produced by crosses of the new strains and H. bacteriophora. Sequence analysis of the variable region of the 16S rRNA gene of the symbiotic bacteria Photorhabdus luminescens isolated from the type strain LN2 and other tropical symbionts of H. indica allowed the characterization of a specific group within the species P. luminescens. The symbiotic bacteria isolated from the Bethlehem nematode strains differ in their sequence and thus form a distinct group. The West Bank strains of H. indica are more heat resistant when compared with H. bacteriophora from temperature climatic regions. The LDT70 after 26 h exposure to G. mellonella was 25 for Beth 11, 55 for Beth 22 and 160 dauer juveniles for H. bacteriophora. The new isolates seem better adapted for biocontrol of Maladera matrida than the H. bacteriophora strain tested.