a class (Aplacophora or Solenogastres) of invertebrate animals of the phylum Mollusca. The body is wormlike (sometimes up to 15 cm in length) and is almost entirely covered by a mantle. Most solenogasters have a longitudinal groove on the ventral side that contains a small ridge, the rudiment of a foot. They do not have shells, and most lack gills. There are about 120 species classified in 26 genera. Solenogasters are extremely common, inhabiting the seas at depths of from 15 m to 4,000 m. They bury themselves in ooze, feeding on detritus, or live on coral or hydroids, on which they feed. The species Chaetoderma nitidulum, with a body length of up to 8 cm, is common in the northern and far eastern seas of the USSR.
REFERENCESDogel’, V. A. Zoologiia bespozvonochnykh, 5th ed. Moscow, 1959.
Rukovodstvo po zoologii, vol. 2. Edited by L. A. Zenkevich. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 2. Moscow, 1968.
I. M. LIKHAREV