Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 269–277 | Cite as

Egg ultrastructure of the amabiliid cestode Tatria biremis Kowalewski, 1904 (Cyclophyllidea, Amabiliidae), with an emphasis on the oncospheral envelopes

  • Vasyl Tkach
  • Zdzisław Świderski
  • Daniel Młocicki
Original Paper


This is the first report on the ultrastructure of eggs in the cestode family Amabiliidae Braun, 1900. The gravid proglottides of Tatria biremis easily detach from the strobila. Their thick-walled saccate uterus contains numerous rounded or oval eggs measuring about 30-32 μm in diameter. In the early preoncospheral phase, three primary embryonic envelopes are formed around the developing and differentiating embryos, namely: (1) vitelline capsule originating from vitellocyte material; (2) outer envelope formed by two macromeres, and (3) inner envelope originating from a fusion of three mesomeres. Thus, both the outer and inner envelopes of T. biremis eggs are cellular in origin and syncytial in nature. During egg maturation, the three primary embryonic envelopes undergo differentiation into fully formed oncospheral or egg envelopes. Most significant changes were observed in the inner envelope which becomes progressively subdivided into 3 sub-layers: the extra-embryophoral sub-layer, the embryophore, and the intra-embryophoral sub-layer, containing mesomere nuclei. The mature hexacanth is covered by a thin layer of the oncospheral tegument. Within the infective hexacanth larva, five cell types were distinguished: (1) a binucleated subtegumental cell; (2) U-shaped penetration gland; (3) nerve cells; (4) somatic cells representing the myocytons of both somatic and hook musculature, and (5) large germinative cells. Ultrastructural characteristics of T. biremis eggs are compared with those described in representatives of other cestode taxa. Since the functional ultrastructure of cestode egg envelopes is defined by multiple factors such as the type of life cycles, habitats and behaviour of the intermediate hosts, mode of the intermediate host infection, etc., ultrastructural studies of the greater diversity of cestodes are needed to obtain comparative data for fruitful analysis of cyclophyllidean cestode adaptations to their diverse life cycles.


Tatria biremis Cestoda Amabiliidae ultrastructure eggs oncospheral envelopes 


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Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasyl Tkach
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zdzisław Świderski
    • 2
    • 3
  • Daniel Młocicki
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA
  2. 2.W. Stefański Institute of ParasitologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarszawaPoland
  3. 3.Department of General Biology and ParasitologyMedical University of WarsawWarszawaPoland

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