Family Desmoscolecidae

Rev. 11/21/2022


Phylum Nematoda

  Class Chromadorea

    Subclass Chromadoria

     Order Desmoscolecida

        Superfamily Desmoscolecoidea

Desmoscolecidae Shipley, 1896

A unique group of nematodes characterized by desmens, thick transverse rings consisting of sedimentary particles and cementing material.. Cephalic tubercles (setae) are a useful diagnostic feature in taxonomy (Shirayama and Hope, 1992). Some genera spines (Grefiellla), scales (Paratricoma) or warts (Pareudesmoscolex) on the cuticle (Decraemer, 1978).


Two subfamilies are recognized:


  Anterior view of head
Desmoscolex sp. from depths of Western Pacific Ocean  
Photomicrographs by Shirayama and Hope, 1992  
Tricoma sp.: Somatic setae
(from Cesaroni et al., 2017)



Cesaroni, L. Guidi, L., Balsamo, M., Semprucci, F. 2017. Scanning electron microscopy in the taxonomical study of free-living marine nematodes. Microscopie 28:6970

Decraemer, W. 1978. Morphological and taxonomic study of the genus Tricoma Cobb (Nematoda : Desmoscolecida), with the description of new species from the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 26(55) 1-121.

Decraemwr, W. and Rho, H.S. 2013. 7.11 Order Desmoscolecida. In Schmidt-Rheas and de Gruyter, W. Handbook of Zoology.Gastrocticha, Cycloneuralia, Gnatifera. Volume 2: Nematoda

Decraemer, W. and Tchesunov, A.V. 1996. Some desmoscolids from the  White Sea (Nematoda: Desmoscolecida). Russian J. Nematology 4:115-130.

Shirayama, Y. and Hope. W.D. 1992. Cephalic tubercles: a new character useful for the taxonomy of Desmoscolecida (Nematoda). Trans. Am. Microscop. Assoc: 111:211-222..


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