In zoological nomenclature, a subphylum is a taxonomic rank below the rank of phylum.

The taxonomic rank of "subdivision" in fungi and plant taxonomy is equivalent to "subphylum" in zoological taxonomy.

Taxonomic rank

Subphylum is:

  1. subordinate to the phylum
  2. superordinate to the infraphylum.

Where convenient, subphyla in turn may be divided into infraphyla; in turn such an infraphylum also would be superordinate to any classes or superclasses in the hierarchy.


Not all fauna phyla are divided into subphyla. Those that are include:

Examples of infraphyla include the Mycetozoa and the Gnathostomata.


An agaric () is a type of mushroom fungus fruiting body characterized by the presence of a pileus (cap) that is clearly differentiated from the stipe (stalk), with lamellae (gills) on the underside of the pileus. "Agaric" can also refer to a basidiomycete species characterized by an agaric-type fruiting body. Archaically agaric meant 'tree-fungus' (after Latin agaricum); however, that changed with the Linnaean interpretation in 1753 when Linnaeus used the generic name Agaricus for gilled mushrooms.

Most species of agarics are within orders of and describe the members of the order Agaricales in the subphylum Agaricomycotina. The exceptions, where agarics have evolved independently, feature largely in the orders Russulales, Boletales, Hymenochaetales and several other groups of the overarching phylum Basidiomycetes. Old systems of classification place all agarics in the Agaricales and some (mostly older) sources use "agarics" as the colloquial collective noun for the Agaricales. Contemporary sources now tend to use the term euagarics to refer to all agaric members of the Agaricales. "Agaric" is also sometimes used as a common name for members of the genus Agaricus, as well as for members of other genera; for example, Amanita muscaria is sometimes called "fly agaric".


Armophorea is a class of ciliates in the subphylum Intramacronucleata.


Cariacothrix is a genus of ciliates in the subphylum Intramacronucleata. It contains only one species, Cariacothrix caudata, and is the only genus in the monotypic family Cariacotrichidae, order Cariacotrichida, and class Cariacotrichea.


The Cercozoa are a group of single-celled eukaryotes. They lack shared morphological characteristics at the microscopic level, being defined by molecular phylogenies of rRNA and actin or polyubiquitin.


A chordate () is an animal constituting the phylum Chordata ([kɔrˈdata]). During some period of their life cycle, chordates possess a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, and a post-anal tail: these five anatomical features define this phylum. Chordates are also bilaterally symmetric; and have a coelom, metameric segmentation, and a circulatory system.

The Chordata and Ambulacraria together form the superphylum Deuterostomia. Chordates are divided into three subphyla: Vertebrata (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals); Tunicata or Urochordata (sea squirts,salps); and Cephalochordata (which includes lancelets). There are also extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia. Hemichordata (which includes the acorn worms) has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but now is treated as a separate phylum: hemichordates and Echinodermata form the Ambulacraria, the sister phylum of the Chordates. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, about half are bony fish that are members of the superclass Pisces,class Osteichthyes.

Chordate fossils have been found from as early as the Cambrian explosion, 541 million years ago. Cladistically (phylogenetically), vertebrates – chordates with the notochord replaced by a vertebral column during development – are considered to be a subgroup of the clade Craniata, which consists of chordates with a skull. The Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. (See diagram under Phylogeny.)


The ciliates are a group of protozoans characterized by the presence of hair-like organelles called cilia, which are identical in structure to eukaryotic flagella, but are in general shorter and present in much larger numbers, with a different undulating pattern than flagella. Cilia occur in all members of the group (although the peculiar Suctoria only have them for part of their life-cycle) and are variously used in swimming, crawling, attachment, feeding, and sensation.

Ciliates are an important group of protists, common almost anywhere there is water — in lakes, ponds, oceans, rivers, and soils. About 3,500 species have been described, and the potential number of extant species is estimated at 30,000. Included in this number are many ectosymbiotic and endosymbiotic species, as well as some obligate and opportunistic parasites. Ciliate species range in size from as little as 10 µm to as much as 4 mm in length, and include some of the most morphologically complex protozoans.In most systems of taxonomy, "Ciliophora" is ranked as a phylum, under either the kingdom Protista or Protozoa. In some systems of classification, ciliated protozoa are placed within the class "Ciliata," (a term which can also refer to a genus of fish). In the taxonomic scheme proposed by the International Society of Protistologists, which eliminates formal rank designations such as "phylum" and "class", "Ciliophora" is an unranked taxon within Alveolata.


Deuterostomes (taxonomic term: Deuterostomia; meaning "second mouth" in Greek) comprise a superphylum of animals. It is a sister clade of Protostomia, with which it forms the Nephrozoa clade.

Deuterostomia is a subtaxon of the Bilateria branch of the subkingdom Eumetazoa, within Animalia, and are distinguished from protostomes by their deuterostomic embryonic development; in deuterostomes, the first opening (the blastopore) becomes the anus, while in protostomes, it becomes the mouth. (There are some occurrences of deuterostomy among protostomes.)Deuterostomes are also known as enterocoelomates because their coelom develops through enterocoely.

Many groups of organisms originally thought to have belonged to this group have been placed elsewhere, to the point where deuterostomes is proposed to be obsoleted.The main extant group in the deuterostome clade is the Chordata, i.e. the vertebrates and their kin.

The other possible deuterostome extant group is the Ambulacraria: Echinodermata (starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers) + Hemichordata (acorn worms and graptolites).

In 2019 it was assessed that the Ambulacraria are sister to the Xenacoelomorpha together forming the Xenambulacraria, probably as basal Bilateria or deuterostome. Without Ambulacraria, Deuterostomes are a junior synonym to the Chordata.


Echinozoa is a subphylum of free-living echinoderms in which the body is essentially globoid with meridional symmetry. Echinozoans lack arms, brachioles, or other appendages, and do not at any time exhibit pinnate structure. Their two extant classes are the sea urchins and the sea cucumbers.


The Entognatha are a class of wingless and ametabolous arthropods, which, together with the insects, makes up the subphylum Hexapoda. Their mouthparts are entognathous, meaning that they are retracted within the head. Entognatha are apterous, meaning that they lack wings. The class contains three orders: Collembola (springtails), Diplura (“two-tail”) and Protura (“first-tail”), and over 5000 known species. These three groups were historically united with the now-obsolete order Thysanura to form the class Apterygota, but it has since been recognized that the hexapodous condition of these animals has evolved independently from that of insects, and independently within each order. The orders may not be closely related, in which case Entognatha would be a polyphyletic group.


The Eurotiomycetes are a class of ascomycetes within the subphylum Pezizomycotina.

Some members of the Eurotiomycetes were previously grouped in the class Plectomycetes.


The subphylum Hexapoda (from the Greek for six legs) constitutes the largest number of species of arthropods and includes the insects as well as three much smaller groups of wingless arthropods: Collembola, Protura, and Diplura (all of these were once considered insects). The Collembola (or springtails) are very abundant in terrestrial environments. Hexapods are named for their most distinctive feature: a consolidated thorax with three pairs of legs (six legs). Most other arthropods have more than three pairs of legs.


Invertebrates are animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column (commonly known as a backbone or spine), derived from the notochord. This includes all animals apart from the subphylum Vertebrata. Familiar examples of invertebrates include arthropods (insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and myriapods), mollusks (chitons, snails, bivalves, squids, and octopuses), annelids (earthworms and leeches), and cnidarians (hydras, jellyfishes, sea anemones, and corals).

The majority of animal species are invertebrates; one estimate puts the figure at 97%. Many invertebrate taxa have a greater number and variety of species than the entire subphylum of Vertebrata.Some of the so-called invertebrates, such as the Tunicata and Cephalochordata are more closely related to the vertebrates than to other invertebrates. This makes the invertebrates paraphyletic, so the term has little meaning in taxonomy.


Lecanoromycetes is the largest class of lichenized fungi. It belongs to the subphylum Pezizomycotina in the phylum Ascomycota. The asci (spore-bearing cells) of the Lecanoromycetes most often release spores by rostrate dehiscence.

List of chordate orders

This page contains a list of all of the classes and orders that are located in the Phylum Chordata.


Lobosa is a taxonomic group of amoebae possessing broad, bluntly rounded pseudopods. In current classification schemes, it is a subphylum of Amoebozoa, composed of amoebae that have lobose pseudopods but lack cilia or flagella.The group was originally proposed in 1861 by William B. Carpenter, who created it as a taxonomic order containing the single family Amoebina. Carpenter's Lobosa consisted of amoeboid organisms whose endoplasm (endosarc) flows into lobe-like "pseudopodian prolongations." This type of pseudopod, which was understood to be typical of the genus Amoeba "and its allies," differed from the filose (thread-like) or reticulose (netlike) pseudopods of the Foraminifera. The name Lobosa was chosen for these amoebae "as expressing the lobe-like character of their pseudopodial extensions".As currently defined, the subphylum Lobosa includes both shelled (testate) and naked amoebae (gymnamoebae), but excludes some organisms traditionally regarded as "lobosean", such as Pelomyxa and Entamoeba (Amoebozoa) and some Heterolobosea (Excavata).


Medusozoa is a clade in the phylum Cnidaria, and is often considered a subphylum. It includes the classes Hydrozoa, Scyphozoa, Staurozoa and Cubozoa, and possibly the parasitic Polypodiozoa. Medusozoans are distinguished by having a medusa stage in their often complex life cycle, a medusa typically being an umbrella-shaped body with stinging tentacles around the edge. With the exception of some Hydrozoa (and Polypodiozoa), all are called jellyfish in their free-swimming medusa phase.


Protocruziea is a class of ciliates in the subphylum Intramacronucleata.


Tactopoda is a proposed clade of protostome animals that includes the phyla Tardigrada and Euarthropoda, supported by various morphological observations.The competing hypothesis is Arthropoda (= Euarthropoda + Onychophora)


Vertebrates comprise all species of animals within the subphylum Vertebrata (chordates with backbones). Vertebrates represent the overwhelming majority of the phylum Chordata, with currently about 69,276 species described. Vertebrates include such groups as the following:

jawless fishes

jawed vertebrates, which include the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays, and ratfish)

tetrapods, which include amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals

bony fishesExtant vertebrates range in size from the frog species Paedophryne amauensis, at as little as 7.7 mm (0.30 in), to the blue whale, at up to 33 m (108 ft). Vertebrates make up less than five percent of all described animal species; the rest are invertebrates, which lack vertebral columns.

The vertebrates traditionally include the hagfish, which do not have proper vertebrae due to their loss in evolution, though their closest living relatives, the lampreys, do. Hagfish do, however, possess a cranium. For this reason, the vertebrate subphylum is sometimes referred to as "Craniata" when discussing morphology.

Molecular analysis since 1992 has suggested that hagfish are most closely related to lampreys, and so also are vertebrates in a monophyletic sense. Others consider them a sister group of vertebrates in the common taxon of craniata.


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