Partial 18S rDNA sequences from 29 flatworms and 2 outgroup taxa were used in a cladistic analysis of the Platyhelminthes. Support for the clades in the resulting single most parsimonious tree was estimated through bootstrap analysis, jack-knife analysis and decay indices. The Acoelomorpha (Acoela and Nemertodermatida) were absent from the most parsimonious tree. The Acoela and the Fecampiidae form a strongly supported clade, the sister group of which may be the Tricladida. There is some support for monophyly of the rhabdocoel taxon Dalyellioida, previously regarded as paraphyletic. The sister group of the Neodermata remains unresolved.