Marine Mammal Parasite of the Month- Answer November 2019

parasite of the month

This is Diplogonoporus tetrapterus, a tapeworm most commonly found in the intestines of seals.

This worm is characterized by its scolex, which is short and pyriform with two grooved suckers. The scolex is used to attach itself to the intestine of the host. It can also be characterized by the multiplication of reproductive organs in their proglottids. This parasite has two kinds of strobila, an uncommon characteristic among cestodes. One type of strobila has multiple sets of reproductive organs per proglottid while the other has a single set.




Hernández-Orts, J. S., Scholz, T., Brabec, J., Kuzmina, T., & Kuchta, R. (2018). Does the number of genital organs matter? Case of the seal tapeworm Diphyllobothrium(syn. Diplogonoporus) tetrapterum(Cestoda: Diphyllobothriidea).Canadian Journal of Zoology, 96(3), 193–204.

Kuzmina, T. A., Hernández-Orts, J. S., Lyons, E. T., Spraker, T. R., Kornyushyn, V. V., & Kuchta, R. (2015). The cestode community in northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) on St. Paul Island, Alaska. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 4(2), 256–263.

Posted by Leah V and Maddy G