No common name

Davainea proglottina

ORDER Cyclophyllidea

FAMILY

Davaineidae

TAXONOMY

Taenia proglottina Davaine, 1860, France.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body 0.02-0.04 in (0.5-1.0 mm) (sometimes up to 0.12 in [3 mm]) long. Scolex with four suckers armed with spines and rostellum armed with 60-90 hammer-shaped rostellar hooks. Proglottides, five to nine, usually six in number.

DISTRIBUTION

Cosmopolitan.

HABITAT

Adults in intestines of poultry. Larvae in the body cavity of slugs. This parasite is very common in farms in humid areas where slugs are abundant.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Internal parasite absorbing nutrients through the tegument.

BEHAVIOR

Nothing is known.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Each adult parasite produces one gravid proglottis per day, which is released with feces of the final host. Slugs, which are often coprophagous, eat gravid proglottides. The development of the larva (named cysticercoid) continues in the body cavity of the mollusk for 15-22 days (depending on temperature regime). Hens are infested as a result of eating infected slugs. Worms mature in the intestine of the final host for 12-16 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Davainea proglottina causes a parasitic disease of poultry. Its pathogenesis is mostly connected with an inflammation of the duodenum. Its acute phase continues three to five days. The mortality can reach up to 60%. ♦

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