A class in the phylum Platyhelminthes (the flatworms), consisting of flukes with a leaf-shaped body and two muscular suckers, and an acelomate parenchyma-filled body cavity. Circulatory system and sense organs are not present, but an incomplete alimentary canal is found (lacking an anus). Flukes of interest to human or veterinary medicine are members of the order Digenea, with complete life cycles involving embryonic multiplication in a mollusk as their first intermediate host. The other order, Monogenea, consists chiefly of parasites of fish that have a simpler pattern of direct development on a single host.
[G. trematodes, full of holes, fr. trema, a hole, + eidos, appearance]
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