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Metazoa -- Invertebrates


From The
Zoological Record

The core information for this page is taken from the website of The Zoological Record. The original text has been abbreviated, some taxonomic groups are added, and links to further information have been expanded. For convenience the taxonomic list is distributed among several separate pages.

Metazoa -- multicellular mitochondrial eukaryotes (together with plants, fungi and some protists sometimes referred to as Crown Eukaryotes)

Invertebrates 'animals without backbones'; here taken to include all non-chordate metazoans:- --[links]

Porifera poriferans, sponges, characterized by pores in their outside walls through which water is drawn --[dedicated site ToL ucmp ummzADW links ]

    Calcarea calcareous sponges with spicules of calcium carbonate (Clathrina)

    Demospongiae have a skeletal network of spongin fibers and/or siliceous spicules, includes all known freshwater sponges (Ephydatia, Haliclona, Spongilla)

    Hexactinellida glass sponges with siliceous spicules (Hexactinella, Rossella)

    Sclerospongiae a polyphyletic grouping

    Stromatoporoidea fossil group with massive calcareous skeletons (Stromatoporella)

Coelenterata (=Cnidaria) coelenterates, mainly marine phylum characterized by cnida or nematocysts used in feeding; characteristic body forms are the polyp (generally sedentary) and the medusa (generally motile) --[ToL ummzADW links]

    Anthozoa includes most corals & sea anemones, coelenterates whose living representatives lack a medusoid 'jellyfish' stage in their life cycle --[ ummzADW links]

    Ceriantipatharia black corals, thorny corals (Antipathes, Cerianthus)

    Octocorallia (=Alcyonaria) alcyonarians, soft corals, sea pens (Alcyonium, Renilla) --[links]

    Zoantharia (=Hexacorallia) corals and sea anemones

      Actiniaria sea anemones (Actinia, Metridium) --[links]

      Rugosa fossil rugose corals, tetracorals (Acanthophyllum, Stylostrotion)

      Scleractinia (=Madreporaria) hard corals, stony corals, true corals (Acropora, Fungia, Montastraea, Porites) --[links]

      Tabulata tabulate corals, fossil (Alveolites, Heliolites)

      Zoanthiniaria (=Zoanthidea) (Palythoa, Zoanthus)

    Cubozoa box jellyfish (Carybdea) --[ummzADW]

    Hydrozoa (=Hydromedusae) mostly alternate between polyp and medusa stage, many are colonial --[ucmp ummzADW links]

      Hydroida freshwater hydras & colonial hydroids (Hydra, Hydractinia, Obelia, Plumularia, Tubularia)

      Milleporina (=Milleporida) hydrocorals, millepores (Millepora)

      Siphonophorida (=Siphonophora) colonial jellyfish (Physalia)

    Scyphozoa true jellyfish (Aurelia, Chrysaora, Rhopilema) --[ucmp ummzADW links]

Ctenophora comb jellies, ctenophores, jelly like motile marine organisms with rows of beating cilia or comb plates (Beroe, Mnemiopsis, Pleurobrachia) --[ ToL ucmp links]

Echinodermata echinoderms, marine deuterostome organisms characterized by tube feet which form part of the water vascular system, thought to possibly have a common ancestry with the chordates --[dedicated site ToL ucmp ummzADW links]

    Crinoidea featherstars, sea lilies (Barycrinus, Metacrinus) --[ToL ucmp]

    Echinoidea heart urchins, sand dollars, sea urchins (Clypeaster, Echinus, Echinocardium, Hemicentrotus, Lytechinus, Paracentrotus, ylocentrotus)

    Holothuroidea sea cucumbers (Cucumaria, Holothuria, Stichopus)


    Asteroidea sea stars, starfish (Acanthaster, Asterias, Pisaster) --[ucmp]

    Ophiuroidea brittle stars (Amphiura, Ophiura)

Platyhelminthes flat worms, acoelomate animals of uncertain origin --[ToL ucmp ummzADW links]

    Cestoda tapeworms (Diphyllobothrium, Echinococcus, Hymenolepis, Taenia) --[ummzADW]

    Trematoda parasitic flukes (Cercaria, Diplostomum, Fasciola, Gyrodactylus, Schistosoma) --[ummzADW]

    Turbellaria turbellarians, free living flatworms (Dugesia, Temnocephala) --[ummzADW]

Nematoda nematodes, roundworms, threadworms(some), whipworms, lungworms, hookworms, eelworms; a pseudocoelomate phylum with both parasitic and free-living representatives, exist in very large numbers (Ascaris, Caenorhabditis C. elegans, Haemonchus, Heterorhabditis, Meloidogyne, Onchocerca, Toxocara) --[dedicated site ToL ummzADW links]

Acanthocephala acanthocephalans, spiny headed worms; a parasitic pseudocoelomate phylum with spiny protrusible proboscis (Acanthocephalus, Corynosoma, Moniliformis) --[ToL links]

Mesozoa mesozoans, small worm like organisms at one time though to be degenerate flatworms (Rhopalura)

Nematomorpha nematomorphans, horsehair worms, threadworms (some), gordian worms; a pseudocoelomate phylum (Gordius) --[ToL links]

Nemertinea (=Rhynchocoela, Nemertea) nemertines, proboscis worms, rhynchocoels, ribbon worms, acoelomate worms with extensible proboscis (Cerebratulus, Lineus) --[ToL ucmp links]

Annelida annelids, segmented coelomate worms with chitinous bristles --[dedicated site ucmp ToL ummzADW links]

    Hirudinea leeches (Helobdella, Hirudo, Notostomum) --[ToL ummzADW links]

    Oligochaeta earthworms, terrestrial bristle worms (Dendrobaena, Eisenia, Lumbricus, Tubifex) --[ummzADW links]

    Polychaeta lugworms, paddleworms, polychaetes, ragworms, sandworms, include parasitic Myzostomida but otherwise mostly marine (Arenicola, Cirratulus, Glycera, Lanice, Nereis, Polydora, Serpula) --[biblio ucmp ummzADW links]

Rotifera (=Rotatoria) rotifers,'wheel animals' named for rotating ring of cilia; a pseudocoelomate phylum (Asplanchna, Brachionus, Lecane) --[links]

Cephalorhyncha cephalorhynchans

Chaetognatha chaetognaths, arrow worms, small marine arrow shaped organisms with moveable hooks (Sagitta) --[links]

Cycliophora a new phylum only discovered in 1995 with a single species (Symbion pandora) --[links]

Echiura echiurans, spoon worms, marine worms with extensible proboscis which live in u-shaped tubes (Echiurus, Urechis) --[ToL ucmp links]

Gastrotricha gastrotrichs, free-living wormlike organisms with lobed heads; a pseudocoelomate phylum (Chaetonotus, Macrodasys, Xenotrichula) --[ToL links]

Gnathostomulida gnathostomulids, jaw worms; a pseudocoelomate phylum (Gnathostomula) --[ToL links]

Kinorhyncha kinorhynchs, free-living marine, with spiny heads used in characteristic locomotion after which they are named; a pseudocoelomate phylum (Echinoderes) --[ToL links]


Loricifera loricifers; a pseudocoelomate phylum first described in 1983 with spiny heads and abdominal plates called lorica (Nanaloricus)

Placozoa a parazoan group represented by the single species (Trichoplax adhaerens) --[links]

Pogonophora pogonophorans, beard worms, deep-sea sessile worms of uncertain lineage which produce upright tubes to live in (Siboglinum) --[ToL ucmp links]

Priapulida (=Priapula) priapulids; a pseudocoelomate protostomate phylum, short fat marine worms about which relatively little is known (Priapulus) --[ToL links]

Sipuncula sipunculids, peanut worms, unsegmented protostomate marine worms characterized by the introvert, a contractile organ used in locomotion (Golfingia, Phascolion, Sipunculus) --[ToL ucmp links]

Vestimentifera vestimentifers, phylum first described in 1985 for genera formerly considered to be pogonophorans (Escarpia, Lamellibrachia, Ridgeia) --[ToL links]

Conodonta conodonts, group of conoidal shaped fossils (Polygnathus) --[links]

Brachiopoda brachiopods, lamp shells; a marine lophophorate phylum of shelled animals with an extensive fossil record; Lingula is possibly the oldest genus with known living representatives --[ToL dedicated site ucmp links]

Bryozoa (=Ectoprocta, Polyzoa) bryozoans, ectoprocts, polyzoans, 'moss' animals; a lophophorate & coelomate phylum of graytic & mostly colonial animals; (some classifications group Ectoprocta together with Entoprocta as Bryozoa) (Bugula, Membranipora, Plumatella) --[dedicated site ToL ucmp links]

Entoprocta (=Kamptozoa) entoprocts, kamptozoans; a marine pseudocoelomate phylum, mostly sessile filter feeders (Loxosoma) --[ToL links]

Protozoa  |  Metazoa  |  Invertebrates  |  Arthropods  |  Hemichordates  |  Chordates  |  Craniates
Vertebrates  |  Unicellular-organisms  |  Sponges  |  Corals  |  Echinoderms  |  Worms  |  Mollusks
Crustaceans  |  Arachnids  |  Insects  |  Fish  |  Amphibians  |  Reptiles  |  Birds  |  Mammals

Back to: Evolution   |   Zoology

Send suggestions, additions, corrections to Richard White at R. White

metazoa.htm 3/8/2001     Links verified 3/8/2001