Desmoscolecida Filipjev, 1929
body small and fusiform to minute and stout
have a head cap or cephalic helmet and for cephalic setae
amphids generally rounded or elongate, on or near head
have somatic setae
heavily ornamented and annulated cuticle, sometimes with warts, scales or spines, and an accumulation of foreign particles
mouth cavity minute, esophagus cylindrical and short
pigmented "eye-spots" (ocelli) may be present
females diovrial, gonads outstretched or reflexed
males monorchic or diorchic, without supplements
have spinneret and caudal glands
typically (>90% of species) marine including 25% from deep sea; some estuarine, freshwater and soil.
Systematics rather complex with subfamilies, genera, subgenera and tribes described.
Andrássy, I. 2005. Free-living Nematodes of Hungary, Vol. I. Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest.
Decraemer, W. and Rho, H.S. 2013. Order Desmosdcolecida. Handbook of Zoology Gastrocticha, Cycloneuralia, Gnatifera. Volume 2: Nematoda
Heip, C., Vincx, M., Smol, N., Vranken, H. 1982. The systematics and ecology of free-living marine nematodes. Helm. Abstracts Series B., 51:1-31.