Mature Moniliformis moniliformis, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Belongs within: Syndermata.
Contains: Eoacanthocephala, Palaeoacanthocephala.

The Acanthocephala, thorny-headed worms, are a group of parasitic worms that live within the gut of vertebrates, anchored in place by a thorny, protrusible proboscis. Circulatory, reproductive and digestive organs are absent and nutrients are absorbed directly through the body wall (Margulis & Schwartz 1998).

Acanthocephala [Archiacanthocephala, Oligacanthorhynchidae]
    |--Oligacanthorhynchus Travassos 1915M01
    |    `--O. tortuosa (Leidy 1850)M01
    `--+--Macracanthorhynchus Travassos 1917M01
       |    |--M. hirudinaceus (Pallas 1781)M01
       |    `--M. ingens (Linstow 1879)M01
       `--+--Pachysentis Meyer 1931M01
          `--+--Mediorhynchus Van Cleave 1916M01
             |    |--M. edmondsi Schmidt & Kuntz 1977M01
             |    `--M. grandis Van Cleave 1916M01
                |  `--PalaeoacanthocephalaM01
                `--Moniliformis [Moniliformidae]M01
                     |--*M. moniliformis (Bremser in Rudolphi 1819)M01
                     |--M. clarki (Ward 1917)M01
                     `--M. dubiousMS98
Acanthocephala incertae sedis:
    |--P. altmaniZHT01
    |--P. marilis Van Cleave 1939M01
    |--P. minutusRN72
    `--P. paradoxusL01
  Oncicola Travassos 1916M01
    `--O. canis (Kaupp 1909)M01
    |--C. constrictum Van Cleave 1918M01
    |--C. enhydriZHT01
    |--C. turbidum Van Cleave 1937M01
    `--C. wegeneriK-M02a
  Arthymorhynchus frassoni (Molin 1858)M01
  Hexispiron nigericum Dollfus & Golvan 1956M01
  Polyacanthorhynchus [Polyacanthorhynchidae]M01
    `--P. rhopalorhynchus (Diesing 1851)M01
    |--C. conspectusZHT01
    `--C. microcephalus (Bravo-Hollis 1947)M01
    |--F. fessus Van Cleave 1931M01
    `--F. vancleavei (Hughes & Moore 1943)M01
  Gorytocephalus elongorchis Thatcher 1979M01
  Neoacanthocephaloides spinicaudatus Cable & Quick 1954M01
  Pomphorhynchus [Pomphorhynchidae]M01
    |--P. bulbocolli Linkins in Van Cleave 1919M01
    |--P. laevis (Zoega in Müller 1776)M01
    |--P. rocciK-M02b
    |--P. sebastichthydisHB75
    `--P. yamagutii Schmidt 1973HB75
  Fessentis friediM02
  Longicollum pagrosomi Yamaguti 1935PC01
  Femogibbosus assi Paruchin 1973PC01
  Chentrosoma [Gigantorhynchidae]P13
    |--C. aluconisP13
    |--C. horridumP13
    `--C. zosteropis Porta 1913P13
  Haeruca murisR26

*Type species of generic name indicated


[HB75] Huffman, D. G., & W. L. Bullock. 1975. Meristograms: graphical analysis of serial variation of proboscis hooks of Echinorhynchus (Acanthocephala). Systematic Zoology 24 (3): 333–345.

[K-M02a] Klein-MacPhee, G. 2002a. Cods. Family Gadidae. In: Collette, B. B., & G. Klein-MacPhee (eds) Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine 3rd ed. pp. 223–261. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[K-M02b] Klein-MacPhee, G. 2002b. Temperate basses. Family Moronidae. In: Collette, B. B., & G. Klein-MacPhee (eds) Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine 3rd ed. pp. 374–389. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[L01] Lindquist, E. E. 2001. Poising for a new century: diversification in acarology. In: Halliday, R. B., D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff (eds) Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress pp. 17–34. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[MS98] Margulis, L., & K. V. Schwartz. 1998. Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth 3rd ed. W. H. Freeman and Company: New York.

[M01] Monks, S. 2001. Phylogeny of the Acanthocephala based on morphological characters. Systematic Parasitology 48: 81–116.

[M02] Musick, J. A. 2002. Sturgeons. Family Acipenseridae. In: Collette, B. B., & G. Klein-MacPhee (eds) Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine 3rd ed. pp. 83–88. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[PC01] Pichelin, S., & T. H. Cribb. 2001. The status of the Diplosentidae (Acanthocephala: Palaeacanthocephala) and a new family of acanthocephalans from Australian wrasses (Pisces: Labridae). Folia Parasitologica 48: 289–303.

[P13] Porta, A. 1913. Acantocefali della Nuova Caledonia e delle isole Loyalty. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 3 pp. 167–170. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

[RN72] Rutgers, A., & K. A. Norris (eds) 1972. Encyclopaedia of Aviculture vol. 1. London, Blandford Press.

[ZHT01] Zrzavý, J., V. Hypša & D. F. Tietz. 2001. Myzostomida are not annelids: molecular and morphological support for a clade of animals with anterior sperm flagella. Cladistics 17: 170–198.

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