Hymenolepis diminuta has no digestive tract, all nutrients needed must be absorbed by the tegument, which is the external covering of the cestode. The cestode is covered in tiny posteriorly directed microtriches which increase the absorbtive area of the tegument. The glycocalyx found on the surface membrane of the microtiches is a layer of carbohydrate-containing macromolecules. Interaction between the glycocalyx and certain molecules has been reported to enhance amylase activity in Hymenolepis diminuta, inhibit the host trypsin, chymotrypsin, and pancreatic lipase and increase the absorption of cations and adsorbtion of bile salts. (Arai, 1980; Roberts and Janovy, 2000)
- Arai, H. 1980. Biology of the Tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta. New York: New York Academic Press.
- Roberts, , Janovy. 2000. Foundations of Parasitology 6th ed.. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.