Studies on the life history and development of certain Acanthocephala of the order Archiacanthocephala (Meyer, 1931)
Moore, Donald Vincent
Doctor of Philosophy
The Acanthocephala constitute a comparatively small group of parasitic worms which have been very much neglected from the taxonomic and life history standpoints. The proper location of the Acanthocephala among the invertebrates is a matter of dispute. It is usually the custom to attach them to the Nematoda, although these two groups have little in common. The most recent tendency is to consider them as being more closely related to the Cestoda than to the Nematoda. Van Cleave (1941) suggests that the Acanthocephala are deserving of rank as a phylum, and that the phylum should be placed adjacent to the Platyhelminthes. The most suggestive evidence of the relationship of the Acanthocephala to the Cestoda is found by a comparison of their developmental stages. Since relatively few complete Acanthocephala life histories have been worked out with adequate descriptions of the developmental stages, more extensive work must be done before suggestions of relationships within the group can be obtained, comparable to what has been done for the Trematoda.