Oligochaeta ([ˌɔlɪɡɔˈkɛta]) is a subclass of animals in the phylum Annelida, which is made up of many types of aquatic and terrestrial worms, including all of the various earthworms. Specifically, the oligochaetae contain the terrestrial megadrile earthworms (some of which are semiaquatic or fully aquatic), and freshwater or semiterrestrial microdrile forms, including the tubificids, pot worms and ice worms (Enchytraeidae), blackworms (Lumbriculidae) and several interstitial marine worms.
With around 10,000 known species, the Oligochaeta make up about half of the phylum Annelida. These worms usually have few setae (chaetae) or "bristles" on their outer body surfaces, and lack parapodia, unlike polychaeta.
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