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Scientific classification

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Bursovaginoidea is one of the two orders in the phylum Gnathostomulida.[1]

Appearance and anatomy[edit]

Bursovaginoids are rather small, ranging from a half of a millimeter to a full millimeter in length.[2] Many species in the order Bursovaginoidea have a narrow neck, making their head stand out more than other bursovagionoids and all filospermoids.[3]

Bursovaginoids, unlike filospermoids, have paired sensory organs and a penis.[4] Also, all species in Bursovaginoidea have a sperm-storage organ called a bursa. In suborder Scleroperalia, the bursa is cuticular, while in Conophoralia it is not. Species in order Conophoralia tend to have larger sperm than those in Sceloperalia.[2]


Sightings of bursovaginoids have been reported in various parts of the world, including England and the north-western and south-eastern parts of the United States. Bursovaginoids mostly live in oceans near the coasts, in depths of under 500 meters (1650 feet), most commonly around 300.[5]


The order Bursovaginoidea contains 73 - 75 species and 24 genera in the following 10 families:[6][7]


  1. ^ "Order Summary for Bursovaginoidea". Sea Life Base. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b Light, Sol Felty (2007). The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon. University of California Press. p. 276. ISBN 0520239393. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  3. ^ Barnes, Robert D. (1982). Invertebrate Zoology. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. pp. 311–312. ISBN 0-03-056747-5.
  4. ^ Barnes, R.F.K. et al. (2001). The Invertebrates: A Synthesis. Oxford: Blackwell Science.
  5. ^ "Bursovaginoidea". Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  6. ^ Sterrer, W. (2006). "Bursovaginoidea". www.marinespecies.org. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  7. ^ Integrated Taxonomic Information System. "ITIS Standard Report Page: Bursovaginoidea". www.itis.gov. Retrieved 29 January 2018.