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Roundworm vs. Tapeworm: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 11, 2024
Roundworms are cylindrical, unsegmented parasites with a digestive system, while tapeworms are flat, segmented, and lack a digestive system.

Key Differences

Roundworms (nematodes) are cylindrical, worm-like parasites that inhabit various environments, including soil and animal intestines. Tapeworms (cestodes) are flat, ribbon-like parasites typically found in the intestines of vertebrates, including humans.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
Unlike tapeworms, roundworms possess a complete digestive system with a mouth, gut, and anus. Tapeworms, on the other hand, absorb nutrients directly through their skin, lacking a digestive tract.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
Roundworms can cause diseases like ascariasis and trichinosis in humans and animals. Tapeworm infections, such as taeniasis, occur by consuming undercooked meat containing tapeworm larvae.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
Reproduction in roundworms involves both male and female individuals, with some species capable of self-fertilization. In contrast, tapeworms have both male and female reproductive organs in each segment and can self-fertilize or cross-fertilize within the same host.
Huma Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
Roundworms are generally smaller in size compared to tapeworms, which can grow several meters in length, depending on the species.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Shape

Cylindrical and unsegmented
Flat and segmented
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Digestive System

Complete (mouth, gut, anus)
Lacks a digestive system
Huma Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Habitat

Soil, animal intestines
Intestines of vertebrates
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Diseases in Humans

Ascariasis, trichinosis
Taeniasis, cysticercosis
Janet White
Jan 11, 2024

Reproductive System

Separate sexes or self-fertilizing
Hermaphroditic in each segment
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024
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Roundworm and Tapeworm Definitions

Roundworm

Roundworms belong to the phylum Nematoda.
Nematode research has provided insights into roundworm biology.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Tapeworm

Tapeworms belong to the class Cestoda.
The study of Cestoda has advanced our understanding of tapeworm infections.
Huma Saeed
Dec 16, 2023

Roundworm

Roundworms have a complete digestive system.
The roundworm's digestive tract allows it to feed on various organic materials.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Tapeworm

Tapeworms absorb nutrients directly through their body surface.
The tapeworm relies on its host's digested food for sustenance.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Roundworm

Roundworms are cylindrical, parasitic or free-living worms.
The garden soil was found to be infested with roundworms.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Tapeworm

Tapeworms are flat, segmented parasites living in host intestines.
A tapeworm was found during the examination of an infected dog.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Roundworm

Roundworms can be microscopic or visibly elongated.
A roundworm was detected in the patient's intestinal sample.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Tapeworm

Tapeworms can grow several meters long inside a host.
The veterinarian removed a two-meter-long tapeworm from the feline patient.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Roundworm

Roundworms are prevalent in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Roundworms contribute to nutrient cycling in many ecosystems.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Tapeworm

Tapeworms have a head with suckers or hooks for attachment.
The tapeworm's head was firmly anchored to the host's intestinal wall.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Roundworm

See nematode.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Tapeworm

Any of various long segmented parasitic flatworms of the class Cestoda that lack a digestive system and have hooks or suckers for attaching to the intestines of vertebrates, including humans. Also called cestode.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Roundworm

An invertebrate animal of the phylum Nematoda and other similar phyla. Many species of roundworms are parasites.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Tapeworm

(countable) Any parasitical worm of the class or infraclass Cestoda, which infest the intestines of animals, including humans, often infecting different host species during their life cycle.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Roundworm

A nematoid worm.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Tapeworm

(countable) A broad fish tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium latum.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Roundworm

Infections of the skin or nails caused by fungi and appearing as itching circular patches
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Tapeworm

(uncountable) Infection by tapeworms.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Roundworm

Unsegmented worms with elongated rounded body pointed at both ends; mostly free-living but some are parasitic
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Tapeworm

Any one of numerous species of cestode worms belonging to Tænia and many allied genera. The body is long, flat, and composed of numerous segments or proglottids varying in shape, those toward the end of the body being much larger and longer than the anterior ones, and containing the fully developed sexual organs. The head is small, destitute of a mouth, but furnished with two or more suckers (which vary greatly in shape in different genera), and sometimes, also, with hooks for adhesion to the walls of the intestines of the animals in which they are parasitic. The larvæ (see Cysticercus) live in the flesh of various creatures, and when swallowed by another animal of the right species develop into the mature tapeworm in its intestine. See Illustration in Appendix.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Tapeworm

Ribbon-like flatworms that are parasitic in the intestines of humans and other vertebrates
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

What are roundworms?

Parasitic or free-living worms with a cylindrical shape.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

How do humans get tapeworms?

By consuming undercooked meat with tapeworm larvae.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

Do roundworms have a digestive system?

Yes, a complete one with mouth, gut, and anus.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Are roundworm infections common?

Yes, particularly in areas with poor sanitation.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

How do roundworms infect humans?

Through contaminated soil, water, or infected food.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Do tapeworms have a digestive system?

No, they absorb nutrients through their skin.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

What are tapeworms?

Flat, segmented parasites living in the intestines of vertebrates.
Huma Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

How long can tapeworms grow?

Up to several meters in a host's intestines.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

Can roundworms be seen with the naked eye?

Some species can, others are microscopic.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

Can you prevent tapeworm infections?

Yes, by cooking meat thoroughly and practicing good hygiene.
Janet White
Jan 11, 2024

What symptoms do tapeworm infections cause?

Often mild, but can include abdominal pain and weight loss.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Are roundworms dangerous?

They can be, particularly if they invade body tissues.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Is there a cure for tapeworm infections?

Yes, typically with prescribed antiparasitic drugs.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

What animals are commonly affected by roundworms?

Many, including dogs, cats, and livestock.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

How do roundworms reproduce?

Through eggs, with separate sexes or self-fertilization.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

What's the lifespan of a tapeworm in a host?

It can be many years, depending on the species and conditions.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

How do tapeworms reproduce?

Each segment has both male and female organs for reproduction.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 11, 2024

Can roundworms affect plants?

Yes, some species are known plant parasites.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024

Can roundworm infections be treated?

Yes, with antiparasitic medications.
Harlon Moss
Jan 11, 2024

Can tapeworms be transmitted between humans?

Not directly, transmission requires an intermediate host.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 11, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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