Abstract The ability of the malaria parasite to invade erythrocytes is central to the disease process, but is not thoroughly understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the motor sys-tems driving invasion. Here, Jennifer Pinder, Ruth Fowler and colleagues review motility in the merozoite. The components of an actomyosin motor are present, including a novel unconventional class XIV myosin, now called Pfmyo-A, which, because of its time of synthesis and location, is likely to generate the force required for invasion. In addition, there is a subpellicular microtubule assemblage in falciparum merozoites, the f-MAST, the integrity of which is necessary for invasion.