The fine structure of the oncosphere of Hymenolepis nana has been investigated by transmission and scanning electron microscopy, together with light microscope observations of JB–4 embedded material. The outer surface of the oncosphere is covered by an epithelial layer, termed the embryonic epithelium. Cell types present within the oncosphere include the penetration gland cell, oncoblast, or hook-forming cells, nerve cells, muscle cells (both somatic and hook), and undifferentiated ‘stem’ cells. The penetration gland is a large, U-shaped structure, situated in the anterior region of the oncosphere, and filled with secretory granules of 2 distinct morphological types. Histochemically, the secretory material yields reactions characteristic of an acid mucopolysaccharide. A proteinaceous-substance and small amounts of glycogen are also present. Up to 4 pairs of ducts from the penetration gland have been observed. They pass through the basal lamina and the epithelial layer to open against the polar filament layer at the anterior end of the oncosphere. Nerve cells are described in a cestode oncosphere for the first time. The cells are paraldehyde-fuchsin-positive and show a high level of secretory activity, as evidenced by the large numbers of dense-cored vesicles produced by the Golgi apparatus in the perikarya; consequently, they are tentatively regarded as possible neurosecretory cells. The vesicles are transported down the axon to be stored in specialized swollen axon terminals, which form definite junctions with the muscle cells.