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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Spiralia
Cladus: Platyzoa
Phylum: Platyhelminthes
Subphylum: Rhabditophora
Superclassis (1): Neodermata
Ordines (10): BothrioplanidaFecampiidaGnosonesimidaMacrostomorphaPolycladidaProlecithophoraProrhynchidaProseriataRhabdocoelaTricladida

Rhabditophora Ehlers, 1985

Template:Ehlers, 1985
Velasquez, X., Bolaños, D.M. & Benayahu, Y. 2018. New records of cotylean flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida: Rhabditophora) from coastal habitats of Israel. Zootaxa 4438(2): 237–260. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.2 Paywall Reference page.


Rhabditophora in the World Register of Marine Species

Rhabditophora (from rhabdito-, rhabdite + Greek -φορος [-phoros], bearer, i.e., "rhabdite bearers") is a subphylum (previously a class) of flatworms. It includes all parasitic flatworms (clade Neodermata) and most free-living species that were previously grouped in the now obsolete class Turbellaria. Therefore, it contains the majority of the species in the phylum Platyhelminthes, excluding only the catenulids, to which they appear to be the sister group.

The clade Rhabditophora was originally erected by Ulrich Ehlers in 1985[1] based on morphological analyses and its monophyly was later confirmed by molecular studies.[2]

Rhabditophorans are characterized by the presence of lamellated rhabdites, rodlike granules secreted in the cells of the epidermis and consisted of concentric lamellae. They are absent in the clade Neodermata, most likely due to a secondary loss of this feature because their epidermis is turned into a syncytium in adult forms.[1]
Scheme of the duo-gland adhesive system of the rhabditophoran Macrostomum lignano: red = adhesive gland; green = releasing gland; blue = anchor cell; ep = epidermis; acmv = anchor cell microvilli.

Another important synapomorphy of the group is the duo-glandular adhesive system. It is a structure of the epidermis containing three different cell types: anchor cells, adhesive glands and releasing glands. The adhesive glands secrete an adhesive substance that attaches the anchor cells to a surface, while the releasing glands secrete a substance able to release the anchor cells from surfaces.[1] This systems allows rhabditophorans to adhere and release quickly from the substrate, even several times in a second.[3]

The secretory organs of rhabditophorans, the protonephridia, also have a unique anatomy in which the flame cells and tube cells present a series of cytoplasmic projections that overlap, forming a two-cell 'weir'.[1]

The following orders are recognised in the subphylum Rhabditophora:[4]

Class ?
Order Bothrioplanida
Order Fecampiida
Order Gnosonesimida
Order Polycladida
Order Prolecithophora
Order Prorhynchida
Order Proseriata
Order Rhabdocoela
Order Tricladida
Superorder Macrostomorpha
Genus Bradynectes
Genus Myozona
Family Haplopharyngidae
Family Macrostomidae
Order Dolichomicrostomida
Superclass Neodermata (parasites)
Class Cestoda
Subclass Cestodaria
Order Amphilinidea
Order Gyrocotylidea
Subclass Eucestoda
Order Bothriocephalidea
Order Caryophyllidea
Order Cathetocephalidea
Order Cyclophyllidea
Order Diphyllidea
Order Diphyllobothriidea
Order Lecanicephalidea
Order Litobothriidea
Order Onchoproteocephalidea
Order Phyllobothriidea
Order Rhinebothriidea
Order Spathebothriidea
Order Tetrabothriidea
Order Tetraphyllidea
Order Trypanorhyncha
Class Monogenea
Subclass Monopisthocotylea
Order Capsalidea
Order Dactylogyridea
Order Gyrodactylidea
Order Monocotylidea
Order Montchadskyellidea
Subclass Polyopisthocotylea
Order Chimaericolidea
Order Diclybothriidea
Order Lagarocotylidea
Order Mazocraeidea
Order Polystomatidea
Class Trematoda
Subclass Aspidogastrea
Order Aspidogastrida
Order Stichocotylida
Subclass Digenea
Order Diplostomida
Order Plagiorchiida


Ehlers, U. (1985) Phylogenetic relationships within the Platyhelminthes. In S. Conway Morris; J. D. George; R. Gibson; H. M. Platt (Eds.), The origins and relationships of lower invertebrates. Oxford, Clarendon Press, p. 143-158.
Larsson, K; Jondelius, U (2008). "Phylogeny of the Catenulida and support for Platyhelminthes". Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 8 (5): 378–387. doi:10.1016/j.ode.2008.09.002.
Lengerer, B; Pjeta, R.; Wunderer, J.; Rodrigues, M.; Arbore, R.; Schärer, L.; Berezikov, E.; Hess, M. W..; Pfaller, K.; Egger, B.; Obwegeser, S.; Salvenmoser, W.; Ladurner, P. (2014). "Biological adhesion of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano relies on a duo-gland system and is mediated by a cell type-specific intermediate filament protein". Frontiers in Zoology. 11 (1): 12. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-11-12. PMC 4016567. PMID 24520881.
"WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species - Rhabditophora". Retrieved 2021-10-13.

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