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Rhombozoans: Rhombozoa

No Common Name (dicyemodeca Deca): Species Account

Physical characteristics: The body length of an adult Dicyemodeca deca (abbreviated as D. deca) does not exceed one–thirty-second of an inch (1 millimeter). There are twenty-three or twenty-four outer cells. The cap is disk shaped. The specialized embryos consist of thirty-five cells and are approximately 0.001 inch (33 micrometers) long.

Geographic range: D. deca lives in the northeastern part of the Pacific Ocean.

Habitat: D. deca lives in the kidneys of the giant Pacific octopus.

Diet: D. deca absorbs nutrients from the urine of its host.

Dicyemodeca deca lives in the kidneys of the giant Pacific octopus. (Illustration by Marguette Dongvillo. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: The wormlike and specialized embryo forms of D. deca swim by movement of their hairlike fibers. Adults have two sex organs that contain about sixteen egg-related cells and fifteen sperm-related cells.

Dicyemodeca deca and people: D. deca has no known importance to people.

Conservation status: D. deca is not threatened or endangered. ∎



Barnes, R. S. K., Peter Calow, and Peter Olive. The Invertebrates: A Synthesis. 3rd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001.

Brusca, Richard C., Gary J. Brusca, and Nancy Haver. Invertebrates. 2nd ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer, 2002.

Web sites:

Furuya, Hidetaka, and Kazuhiko Tsuneki. "Biology of Dicyemid Mesozoans." Zoological Science. http://www.cephbase.utmb.edu/refdb/pdf/7851.pdf (accessed on January 23, 2005).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsRhombozoans: Rhombozoa - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (dicyemodeca Deca): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, RHOMBOZOANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS