The characteristics of intra-lymphocytic Theileria isolated from African buffalo and from cattle that were infected with buffalo-derived parasites were evaluated using anti-schizont monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and DNA probes. Antigenic differences were revealed by the reactivities of 27 mAbs with the buffalo-derived parasites isolated from different animals. Antigenic diversity was also seen with Theileria-infected lymphoblastoid cell isolates taken from the lymph nodes and blood of the same animals. Two DNA probes, selected from a genomic library of T. parva piroplasm DNA cloned in λgt11, showed specific hybridization to parasite DNA in Southern blots of restriction enzyme-digested, lymphoblastoid cells infected with buffalo-derived theilerial parasites. Genotypic differences between the buffalo-derived parasites were revealed by the restriction fragment length polymorphisms seen with hybridization of those probes to DNA from cloned and uncloned Theileria-infected cell lines. The evaluation of theilerial parasites derived from buffalo and from cattle which underwent typical T. p. lawrencei reactions, after being infected with buffalo-derived theilerial parasites, did not show any specific phenotypic or genotypic characteristics of these parasites that would distinguish them from T. p. parva and T. p. bovis parasites. The validity of these subspecies distinctions is discussed.