Compiler and date details
April 2011 - Jo Wood, South Australian Museum
Gastrotrichia are microscopic multicellular organisms, found in marine and freshwaters. They are rather wormlike, elongate and flattened, have a slightly constricted head region and a trunk that forks posteriorly.
Few have been recorded for Australia. Inddeed, in discussing the freshwater gastrotrich fauna of Australia, Gunn et al. (1996) commented: 'The Australian fauna is not well known but it has been suggested that most freshwater genera are cosmopolitan, and on this basis four families (Chaetonotidae, Dasydytidae, Dichaeturidae, and Neogosseidae) might be expected. Williams (1980) reports only Chaetonotus as having been positively identified from Australia.' However, among the freshwater groups, only Chaetonotidae have been recorded — as yet no species in Dasydytidae, Dichaeturidae, Neogosseidae, Proichthydidae or Xenotrichulidae are known for Australia.
Similarly, representation in the order Macrodasyida, with no Lepidodasyidae, Macrodasyidae or Planodasyidae as presently recorded is very depauperate.
Balsamo, M., Hondt, J.-L., Pierboni, L. & Grilli, P. 2009. Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes on freshwater Gastrotricha. Zootaxa 2158: 1-19
Gunn, B.M., Cranston, P.S., Dimitriadis, S. & Trueman, J.W.H. 1999. Interactive Guide to Australian Aquatic Invertebrates. Gastrotricha. [Lucid Key] edn 2. Canberra : CSIRO Entomology.