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|oligochaete or oligochete |
Any of various annelid worms of the class Oligochaeta. Oligochaetes, unlike polychaetes, have relatively few bristles (called setae) along the body, and often have a thickened, ringlike region (called a clitellum) that secretes a substance used for enclosing eggs in a cocoon. Oligochaetes include the earthworms and a few small freshwater forms. Compare polychaete.
any worm of the class Oligochaeta (phylum Annelida). About 3,200 living species are known, the most familiar of which is the earthworm (q.v.), Lumbricus terrestris. Oligochaetes are common all over the world. They live in the sea, in fresh water, and in moist soil.