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Serial sections of the rectal valve in Aphelenchoides blastophthorus Franklin and the oesophago-intestinal valve in Thornenema wickeni Yeates were examined electron microscopically. Each valve when closed appears as a convoluted path of closely apposed (10 nm) pairs of three-layered cell membranes. Both valves serve to stop intestinal leakage, open briefly and rapidly by forcible dilatation and are closed by pressure from surrounding tissues, helped perhaps by intermolecular forces.