Of the various groups of Helminths, Acanthocephala has received the least attention from Helminthologists; so much so that even its classification is based on very arbitrary characters. This may partly be due to the general belief that infestation with these worms is very rare. The earlier accounts, such as that of Diesing (1851), which deals with a number of species from fishes, giving brief descriptions of their external morphology and a few generalised drawings, describe the various species under a single genus, Echinorhynchus.
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