Lab 4: Diversity: Cestoidea


The previous lab introduced you to the "flukes". This lab deals with the "tapeworms". These "gutless wonders" are distinguished by the absence of mouth and intestine that are present in other platyhelminths.

All tapeworms adults live in the intestine of a vertebrate animal, and most have one or more larval stages that infect other animals. Higher taxa of cestodes are easily recognizable by the characteristics of their attachment organ. As you examine the life cycles, you should be able to see parallels with the digeneans, who also have to deal with the problems posed by multiple host species in multiple habitats.