Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn


  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_23-2

Acanthor is the first larva of Acanthocephala (Acanthocephala/Reproduction, Acanthocephala/Figs. 2 and 3). During the first equal cell divisions after fertilization, two polar bodies usually appear at the end of the embryo that will become the anterior end of the acanthor. Further, equal and unequal divisions show a kind of spiral cleavage resulting in micromeres and macromeres. In a later stage, the central nuclear mass (inside the central syncytium) appears. However, there is no formation of a digestive tract at any phase of development. In addition, the very early embryo attains a syncytial organization. Thus, it is difficult to decide what is ectoderm, endoderm, or mesoderm. During the course of development, the embryo detaches from the floating ovary, and the single eggshell differentiates into the different envelopes.

Mature acanthors consist of three syncytia, the central syncytium (median), the epidermal syncytium (caudal), and the frontal syncytium (Fig. 1). Within the...


Intermediate Host Retractor Muscle Cytoplasmic Bridge Unequal Division Numerous Vacuole 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und Parasitologie Universitätsstraße 1DüsseldorfGermany