Zeitschrift für Parasitenkunde

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 71–88

The microanatomy and fine structure of the rostellum ofHymenolepis diminuta

  • Robert D. Specian
  • Richard D. Lumsden
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF00927728

Cite this article as:
Specian, R.D. & Lumsden, R.D. Z. Parasitenkd. (1980) 63: 71. doi:10.1007/BF00927728


The microanatomic arrangement of the muscular, nervous, and excretory systems as well as the organization of the tegument are described for the rostellum ofHymenolepis diminuta. An inner circular and an outer longitudinal layer of muscle comprise the rostellar capsule, delimiting the rostellum from the scolex proper. A similar muscular arrangement surrounds an apical invagination of the rostellar tegument, the anterior canal. Elements of the excretory and nervous systems enter the rostellum basally through a discontinuous region of the capsule. Although excretory canals extend into the rostellum, flame cells and their associated collecting ducts are absent. The rostellar nervous system is comprised of a single bilateral pair of ganglia, which provide motor innervation of the anterior canal, and the circular muscles of the rostellar capsule; it also receives dendrites from apical uniciliate sensory receptors. The tegument lining the anterior canal and covering the apical rostellum is syncytial and continuous with the tegument of the scolex proper. Twelve to 15 cytons are radially arranged around the anterior canal. They stain selectively with paraldehyde-fuchsin between days 3 and 35 postinfection, but are clearly tegumental, not neurosecretory elements. The appearance of ovoid granules in the rostellar tegumentary cytons coincides with the onset of fuchsinophilia, but the granules persist despite the subsequent loss of this staining characteristic. Intact granules are secreted into the lumen of the anterior canal, although their function has not been ascertained.

Key words

Hymenolepis diminutaNeurosecretionRostellumSecretionTegument

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Specian
    • 1
  • Richard D. Lumsden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnatomyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA