DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Dog tapeworm scolex (Dipylidium caninum). The adult has a head (scolex) with suckers (acetabula) that are used to attach to the host. This species occurs most often in dogs and cats. In some instances the tapeworm can be transmitted to humans. Body segments called proglottids are budded off from the head and neck region of the tapeworm while it grows in the intestine. Tapeworms have no specialized digestive system but they can adsorb partially digested food from the hosts intestines (through skin surface). Tapeworm eggs pass through the faeces of these animals and fleas and lice ingest the eggs and act as vectors to carry intermediate stages of the tapeworm. Dogs or cats may accidentally ingest the insects and the intermediate stage of the tapeworm can grow into an adult. Adult tapeworms may grow 5-10 meters in length. Magnification x60 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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