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a tapeworm of the family Taeniidae. The body of Multiceps multiceps, which is 4–10 cm long and as wide as 5 mm, consists of 200–250 segments. The scolex has four suckers and a proboscis with 22–32 hooks arranged in two rows. Sexually mature multicepses parasitize in the intestines of dogs and other canines. The last segments of the body, which contain the uterus with 20,000–60,000 eggs with developing larvae (oncospheres), fall off upon maturing and are excreted with the dog’s feces. In the alimentary tract of the intermediate host (sheep or, less commonly, other animals or man), the oncosphere emerges from the egg, enters the blood, and is carried by the blood to the brain, where it changes into one of the larval forms of the taeniids, the coenurus. The coenurus causes a serious disease called coenurosis (gid) in sheep and in dogs that have eaten the brains of these sheep.
V. T. GAGARIN