Image Credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (CC BY 4.0)
Watch a clip of an acanthocephalan here.
An unidentified acanthocephalan extending and retracting its spiny proboscis.
Video Credit: Fossa (YouTube Creative Commons License)
What makes an acanthocephalan an acanthocephalan?
Acanthocephala (formerly a phylum) - All parasitic. Adults are endoparasites that live in the small intestines of their definitive (final) vertebrate hosts. In an aquatic environment, intermediate hosts are usually arthropods, final hosts are usually fishes. In a terrestrial environment, paratenic hosts include lizards and amphibians, definitive hosts vary.
Reference(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Total discovered species:
Commonly Associated Terms
Evolutionary History & Adaptation
Conservation and Threats
Chapter Advisors and Contributors
Lead Researcher at Bugtopia
MSc Insect Pest Management
MSc Aquatic Entomology
Entomologist at BugTech