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Orthonectidans: Orthonectida

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (rhopalura Ophiocomae): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, ORTHONECTIDANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

NO COMMON NAME (Rhopalura ophiocomae): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Orthonectidans live in the coastal regions of the northwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean near Japan, and the northeastern part of the Pacific Ocean along the coast of the United States.


Orthonectidans live in the tissues of sea-dwelling invertebrates, such as flatworms; segmented worms; mollusks (MAH-lusks), or animals with soft, unsegmented bodies that may or may not have a shell; sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and their relatives; and sea squirts.

Orthonectidans absorb nutrients within the host's cells.


Orthonectidans have no known importance to people.

What's in a Name?

The name orthonectidan means "straight swimming," but these animals usually swim in a spiral motion.

Orthonectidans are not threatened or endangered.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple Animals