Temporary Page



Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
taxon links [up-->]Collothecacea [up-->]Seisonidea [up-->]Acanthocephala [up-->]Flosculariacea [up-->]Ploima [up-->]Bdelloidea Phylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Bilateria Interpreting the tree
close box

This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

close box
For a recent discussion of alternative hypotheses of relationships see Mark Welch 2001.
Containing group: Bilateria

Other Names for Rotifera


Clément, P. 1985. The relationships of rotifers. In: S. Conway Morris et al. (eds.), The origins and relationships of lower invertebrates. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Clément, P. and E. Wurdak. 1991. Rotifera. Pages 219–297 in: Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates, Vol. 4. F. W. Harrison and E. E. Ruppert, eds. Wiley-Liss, New York.

Ferraguti, M. and G. Melone. 1999. Spermiogenesis in Seison nebaliae (Rotifera, Seisonidea): further evidence of a rotifer—acanthocephalan relationship. Tissue Cell 31:428–440.

Funch, P., M.V. Sørensen and M. Obst. 2005. On the phylogenetic position of Rotifera—have we come any further? Hydrobiologia 546:11–28.

García-Varela, M. and S. A. Nadler. 2006. Phylogenetic relationships among Syndermata inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (1):61-72.

Garey, J. R., T. J. Near, M. R. Nonnemacher, and S. A. Nadler. 1996. Molecular evidence for Acanthocephala as a subtaxon of Rotifera. J. Mol. Evol. 43:287-292.

Garey, J. R., A. Schmidt-Rhaesa, T. J. Near, and S. A. Nadler. 1998. The evolutionary relationships of rotifers and acanthocephalans. Hydrobiologia 387:83-91.

Herlyn, H., O. Piskurek, J. Schmitz, U. Ehlers, and H. Zischler. 2003. The syndermatan phylogeny and the evolution of acanthocephalan endoparasitism as inferred from 18S rDNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 26:155–164.

Kutikova, L. 1983. Parallelism in the evolution of rotifers. Hydrobiologia 104:3-7.

Lorenzen, S. 1985. Phylogeny of pseudocoelomate evolution. In: S. Conway Morris et al. (eds), The origins and relationships of lower invertebrates. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Mark Welch, D. B. 2000. Evidence from a protein-coding gene that acanthocephalans are rotifers. Invertebrate Biology 119:17-26.

Mark Welch, D. B. 2001. Early contributions of molecular phylogenetics to understanding the evolution of Rotifera. Hydrobiologia 446/447:315-322.

Melone, G., C. Ricci, H. Segers, and R. L. Wallace. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships of phylum Rotifera with emphasis on the families of Bdelloidea. Hydrobiologia 387/388:101-107.

Miquelis, A., J.-F. Martin, E. W. Carson, G. Brun, and André Gilles. 2000. Performance of 18S rDNA helix E23 for phylogenetic relationships within and between the Rotifera–Acanthocephala clades. C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris, Sciences de la vie/Life Sciences 323:925–941.

Nogrady, T., R. L. Wallace, and T. W. Snell. 1993. Rotifera, Vol. 1: Biology, Ecology and Systematics. Guides to the Identification of the Microinvertebrates of the Continental Waters of the World. H. J. Dumont, ed. SPB Academic Publishers bv., The Hague.

Segers, H. 2002. The nomenclature of the Rotifera: annotated checklist of valid family- and genus-group names. Journal of Natural History 36:631-640.

Sørensen, M. V. 2002. On the evolution and morphology of the rotiferan trophi, with a cladistic analysis of Rotifera. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 40:129-154.

Sørensen, M. V. and G. Giribet 2006. A modern approach to rotiferan phylogeny: Combining morphological and molecular data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40(2):585-608.

Sudzuki, M. 1964. New systematical approach to the Japanese planktonic Rotatoria. Hydrobiologia 23:1-124.

Wallace, R.L. and T. W. Snell. 1991. Rotifera. In: Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. J. H. Thorpe & A. P. Covich, eds. Academic Press, New York.

Witek, A., H. Herlyn, A. Meyer, L. Boell, G. Bucher and T. Hankeln. 2008. EST based phylogenomics of Syndermata questions monophyly of Eurotatoria. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2008, 8:345doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-345

Zrzavy, J. 2001. The interrelationships of metazoan parasites: a review of phylum- and higher-level hypotheses from recent morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses. Folia Parasitologica 48:81-103.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Acanthocephala
Comments with proboscis extended
Creator Houseman
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Sex Female
Copyright © BIODIDAC
Scientific Name Bdelloidea
Creator J. M. Cavanihac
Copyright © BIODIDAC
About This Page

Page: Tree of Life Rotifera. Rotifers. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Tree of Life Web Project. 2002. Rotifera. Rotifers. Version 01 January 2002 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Rotifera/2480/2002.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box


Page Content

articles & notes




Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page