The anterior 2 mm of the sparganum of Spirometra mansonoides contained 35 to 48% of the total endogenous cobalamin (Cbl) with only 2 to 4% in the terminal 1 cm. [57Co]cobalamin taken up in the posterior region of spargana was transported directionally to the anterior region and concentrated there resulting in a uniform depletion of [57Co]Cbl along the remaining body length. The anterior 2 mm contained 24% of the sparganum's holo-MMCoAM activity with only 5% in the terminal 1 cm. When head and body preparations were chromatographed on Sephadex G-150 columns eluates from both regions exhibited single peaks of MMCoAM activity at an approximate molecular weight of 150,000 and two peaks of endogenous Cbl. The first Cbl peak cochromatographed with MMCoAM activity and the second Cbl peak eluted at the position of free Cbl. Spargana rapidly converted CN-[57Co]Cbl to hydroxocobalamin (OH-Cbl) and adenosylcobalamin (Ado-Cbl) in vitro. In the head region significant amounts of Ado-Cbl were present (25%) although OH-Cbl was the predominant form of Cbl (45%) after 264 hr in a Cbl-free medium. In the body Ado-Cbl was the predominant form of Cbl (44%) although significant amounts of OH-Cbl were present (27%) after 264 hr in a Cbl-free medium. No methylcobalamin (Me-Cbl) was detected, but an unidentified cobalamin-containing entity (Fraction 4) was present. Based on these results we propose that the sparganum takes up cobalamin, concentrates it in the anterior, "head" region, sequentially metabolizes it to the hydroxyl then the adenosyl forms, and that the adenosylated form is used in this region of high, anaerobic metabolism as an obligatory coenzyme for MMCoAM, in coordination with the differentiation of the sparganum to the adult cestode.