PLATYELMIA, a phylum of the animal kingdom which comprises three classes, the Planarians, Trematodes and Cestodes.
The Planarians are free-living animals, the Trematodes are parasitic upon and within animals, and the Cestodes are wholly endoparasitic.
As the Turbellaria (Planarians) are the most primitive division of the Platyelmia, the problem of the affinities of this phylum resolves itself into that of the relationships of the Turbellaria.
From these are given off at irregular intervals short lateral branches, each of which terminates in a flame-cell (f) precisely similar in structure to the flame-cells found in Planarians, Trematodes and Cestodes; here as there the question whether they are open to the body cavity or not must probably be answered in the negative.
The concentration of nervous matter and ganglionic substance at the oral end of Trematodes is equivalent to the " brain " of the Planarians, but the similar thickening in the scolex of Cestodes is by no means so certainly to be called by that name.