Definition of Gastrotricha in English:


plural noun

  • A small phylum of minute aquatic wormlike animals that bear bristles and cilia. They are thought to be related to the nematode worms and rotifers.

    • ‘These are the horsehair worms or Nematomorpha and the Gastrotricha.’
    • ‘They concluded that Gastrotricha is the sister-taxon of a monophyletic clade comprising Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Priapulida, Kinorhyncha and Loricifera.’
    • ‘Furthermore they have several plesiomorphic characters, such as a myoepitheal pharyngeal bulb, comparable to the other Cycloneuralia, especially the Nematoda and Gastrotricha.’
    • ‘With the two examples from Nematomorpha and Gastrotricha I aimed to exemplify these interconnections and show gaps in knowledge that are mainly due to the evaluation of nematomorphs and gastrotrichs as ‘lesser known groups.’’
    • ‘The name Gastrotricha derives from the possession of ventral locomotory cilia which are covered by cuticle, a unique feature among metazoan animals.’


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek gastēr, gastr- ‘stomach’ + thrix, trikh- ‘hair’.