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Hexacanth

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Hexacanth

The motile six-hooked first-stage larva of cyclophyllidean cestodes; it emerges from the egg and actively claws its way through the intermediate hosts intestine prior to development into the next larval stage; e.g., the hexacanth of Taenia saginata, which penetrates the intestine of a cow that ingested the egg, then forms a cysticercus in the muscles of the intermediate host.

Synonym: oncosphere.

Origin: hexa-_ g. Akantha, hook or thorn