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In biology, Cestoda is the class of parasitic flatworms, called cestodes or tapeworms, that live in the digestive tract of vertebrates as adults and often in the bodies of various animals as juveniles. Important tapeworm families include:
- Family Taeniidae- The Taenia genus including the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, and the beef tapeworm, Taenia saginata, also known as Taeniarhynchus saginata. As well as the genus Echinococcus which results in a potentially fatal parasitic disease called hydatid disease.
- Genus Dipylidiidae-including Diphyllobothrium latum, is known as the broad or fish tapeworm, or broad fish tapeworm and Dipylidium caninum, also called the cucumber tapeworm, infects organisms afflicted with fleas, including dogs, cats, and pet-owners, especially children.
- Genus Hymenolepididae- including Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf tapeworm) and Hymenolepis diminuta (Rat tapeworm)