Major subgroups
Early classification divided the flatworms into four groups: Turbellaria, Trematoda, Monogenea and Cestoda.


These have about 4,500 species, are mostly free-living, and range from 1 mm (0.039 in) to 600 mm (24 in) in length. Most are predators or scavengers, and terrestrial species are mostly nocturnal and live in shaded, humid locations, such as leaf litter or rotting wood.

* However, some are symbiotes of other animals, such as crustaceans, and some are parasites. Free-living turbellarians are mostly black, brown or gray, but some larger ones are brightly colored.

* The Acoela andNemertodermatida were traditionally regarded as turbellarians, but are now regarded as members of a separate phylum, the Acoelomorpha, or as two separate phyla.

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