The bodies of cestodes are flat and ribbon-like. Its head (scolex) has organs of attachment that usually has four muscular, cup-shaped suckers and a crown of hooklets.


The individual segments of tapeworms are called proglottids. The chains of proglottids are called strobila.


All tapeworms are hermaphroditic (with both the male and female reproductive organs present in each proglottid). The eggs of most tapeworms are nonoperculated and contain a six-hooked hexacanth embryo. Tapeworms have no digestive system, thus food is absorbed from the host’s interesine through the soft body wall of the worm. Most tapeworms found in human intestine have complex life cycles involving intermediate hosts and in some cases, humans serve as a form of intermediate host that harbours larval stages.