A Dipylidium caninum adult is a long flat worm, around 40 to 50 cm. The body is made up of the head or scolex, the neck, and a segmented section called the strobilus. The scolex has hooks for attachment. Each segment contains two proglottids. A proglottid is one set of reproductive organs. Dipylidium caninum is often identified by examing segments passed in feces. Dipylidium caninum has two genital pores located laterally on each segment, with two proglottids per segment. Segments are often described as resembling cucumber seeds, and are quite active when seen outside their hosts in fecal material. Larvae are called oncospheres generally, but specifically for Dipylidium caninum. Larvae of Eucestoda are termed "hexacanth" because of the six hooks on the posterior end. (Chappell, Enos, and Penn, 1990; Roberts and Janovy, 1996)
Other Physical Features: Ectothermic; Heterothermic; Bilateral symmetry
- Chappell, C., J. Enos, H. Penn. 1990. Dipylidium caninum, an underrecognized infection in infants and children. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 9(10): 745-7.
- Roberts, L., J. Janovy. 1996. Foundations of Parasitology 6th edition. USA: McGraw-Hill.