Definition: The motile six-hooked first-stage larva of cyclophyllidean cestodes; it emerges from the egg and actively claws its way through the intermediate host's intestine before development into the next larval stage; 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.
[hexa- + G. akantha, hook or thorn]
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