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any member of the invertebrate phylum Nemertea (sometimes called Nemertinea, or Rhynchocoela), which includes mainly free-living forms but also a few parasites of crustaceans, mollusks, and sea squirts. The majority of the approximately 900 known nemertean species are found in marine habitats. Some, however, live in freshwater or on land. The name proboscis worm derives from the muscular eversible proboscis, which is housed in a chamber above the gut. This tube-shaped organ, which in many aquatic forms has a needlelike stylet, is typically used to trap the prey; in land-dwelling species it may be used for rapid movement