Three soil bacterial strains were identified as Chryseobacterium sp. TFB on the basis of their 16S rRNA gene sequences. Conidia of Arthrobotrys oligospora produced a few mycelial traps (MT) and conidial traps (CT) when cultured with bacterial cells that they did not produce when cultured with a bacterial cell-free culture filtrate. However, co-culture of A. oligospora with bacterial cells and bacteria-free filtrate simultaneously induced MT and CT in large amounts. With the increased concentration of bacteria-free filtrate, the number of typical CT increased, but conidial germination was progressively inhibited. Scanning electron microscopy of A. oligospora co-cultured with bacteria revealed that bacterial attachment to hyphae was a prerequisite to trap formation and that bacteria-free filtrate facilitated bacterial attachments to hyphae. The results that the addition of nutrients in co-culture medium decreased the number of traps suggest that this type of trap formation may be favoured at a low nutrient status. Eight fungi tested were able to form MT and CT when co-cultured with bacterial cells and bacteria-free culture filtrate, but the abilities varied among species. This study provides novel evidence that under laboratory conditions, soil bacteria attaching to hyphae could induce traps in nematode-trapping fungi.