It has been compared with the canal of Laurer of Trematodes (the vitello-intestinal duct of the ectoparasitic flukes), but if we take the more primitive Cestodes, and especially Aniphilina, into consideration we find that they possess, in addition to the uterus, an anterior vagina (usually present in Cestodes) and a posterior one.
The single anterior vagina is then comparable with the similarly named duct of ectoparasitic Trematodes, in which group it is either single or double.
B, in ectoparasitic Trematodes (Heterocotylea).
The only organs that exhibit any sign of degeneration are those of sense, but in the ectoparasitic Trematodes simple eye-like structures are present and perhaps serve as organs of temperature.
In the ectoparasitic Trematodes this post-oral sucker is a complex disk placed near the hinder end and provided With suckerlets, hooks and a musculature arising from a special skeleton.
It is the opening of Laurer's canal and is homologous not with that of the "vagina" just mentioned, but with a totally distinct structure - the "yolkreceptacle" - which in ectoparasitic forms discharges into the gut instead of to the exterior (see fig.
The excretory pore is terminal and posterior in endoparasitic forms: paired, anterior and dorsal in the ectoparasitic class.
If ectoparasitic and attached to the skin, apertures or gills, the Trematode adopts more elaborate adhesive organs and undergoes a less complex development than are required for the endoparasitic members of the class.
It is usual to consider the ectoparasitic habit as leading up to the endoparasitic one.
Thus in ectoparasitic Trematodes, the paired vagina transmits spermatozoa to the egg: and a canal carries off yolk from this point of junction either to the gut for resorption or to the exterior for exudation.
- Ectoparasitic Trematodes, in which a large posterior adhesive apparatus is present and is usually accompanied by a pair of suckers placed anteriorly in relation to the mouth.
Drilophagus and Albertia are parasitic on the surface or within the gut of Naid Oligochaete worms: Seisonaceae are ectoparasitic on the Crustacean Nebalia, Proales werneckii forms galls within the Conferva Vaucheria, and P. parasita infests the central jelly of the Phytoflagellate Volvox; P. petromyzon is a frequent commensal in the gill cavity of some Cladoceran Crustacean Eurycereus lamellatus.
The Trematodes are somewhat modified in accordance with their ectoor endoparasitic life, but they exhibit such a close similarity of structure with the Turbellaria that their origin from Planarians can hardly be doubted, and indeed the Temnocephaloidea (see Planarians) form an almost ideal annectant group linking the ectoparasitic Trematodes and Rhabdocoel Planarians.