Thorny headed worms

Phylum Acanthocephala Number of families 22

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Parasitic thorny headed worms with complex life cycles; sexes separated; adults found in intestines of vertebrates (definitive host), larvae found in hemocoel (body cavity) of arthropods (intermediate hosts) and sometimes in body cavities of vertebrates (paratenic or transport hosts)

Photo: Scanning electron micrograph of the proboscis of Hypoechinorhynchus thermaceri, taken from the eelpout fish Thermarces andersoni, found near deep sea hydrothermal vents. (Photo by Isaure de Buron. Reproduced by permission.)

Thorny Headed Worms

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