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Animal EvolutionInterrelationships of the Living Phyla$
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Claus Nielsen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606023.001.0001

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Phylum Nematomorpha

Phylum Nematomorpha

(p.286) 50 Phylum Nematomorpha
Animal Evolution

Claus Nielsen

Oxford University Press

The phylum Nematomorpha, or hair worms, consists of approximately 325 known species of nematode-like parasites that spend the larval stage in the body cavities of arthropods. The adult sexual stage is free and non-feeding, but can survive for several months. The Nematomorpha represents two orders: the marine Nectonematoidea, with five species of the genus Nectonema; and the limnic-terrestrial Gordioidea. The nematomorphs are most probably a monophyletic group and have been interpreted as specialised nematodes, presumably derived from the parasitic mermithoids. The monophyly of the phylum and its sister-group relationship with the nematodes are supported by molecular phylogenetic studies.

Keywords:   nematomorphs, Nematomorpha, Nectonematoidea, Nectonema, Gordioidea, nematodes, mermithoids, monophyly

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