Most species within the genus Desmoscolex Claparède, 1863 are marine, while some inhabit freshwater biotopes and a few are terrestrial. Their morphology is typical. The body is small and stout with a heavily annulated cuticle with some setae present, including four small setae on a cephalic helmet. The oral opening is very small, also their pharynx is simple and short. They are probably microbivorous. In the Netherlands so far one terrestrial species has been found: D. vinealis Weisher, 1962.