Taxonomy: f. Dilepididae
Animal: Dipylidium caninum 6 05.jpg
Dipylidium caninum developing stages in the heamocoele of cat fleas, intermediate hosts, reared to different temperatures. (c - cercomer, pl - primary lacuna, rh - rostellar hooks, s - sucker) , note - external, clear outer layer around the fully developed metacestodes. D. caninum (the dog tape worm) is a common parasite of dogs and cats world wide and occasionally humans become infected by ingesting infective fleas. Flea larvae are infected by eating the eggs in the egg capsules passed from the intestine. Development of the parasite in the flea is not linked to the development of the flea but rather is controlled by temperature and relative humidity. Below 30 degrees C the parasite does not become infective until the infected adult fleas have infected mammals for 5 - 7 days, the mammalian surface temperature is essential for the parasite to complete its development in the flea. (Pugh 1985 PhD thesis).
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