Acanthocephalans

From Cow
Adult Moniezia spp tapeworm

Acanthocephalans, or thorny-headed worms are a unique phylum of parasitic worms unrelated to nematodes, cestodes or trematodes.

These worms have no mouth, or intestinal tract, but they do have an evertable proboscis lined with spines which is used to attach themselves to the lining of the intestine.

In cattle, the main parasitic acanthocephalans are Moniezia spp.