Differential Interference Contrast Image Gallery

Cucumber Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum)

In order to attach themselves firmly to the wall of a hostís small intestine, each adult cucumber tapeworm features a scolex with four suckers and a retractable projection known as the rostellum that is lined with several rows of hooks. Once they reach their final destination, individual worms may grow to substantial sizes, sometimes achieving lengths of up to 50 centimeters. When sexual maturity is achieved, the hermaphroditic parasites are capable of fertilizing their own eggs. The eggs of cucumber tapeworms are each about 50 microns in diameter and are released in cases that may hold up to thirty organisms.

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