Date of this Version
American Museum Novitates (March 10, 1926) 210, 17 pages.
During the course of my study on the parasitic worms collected by the Lang-Chapin expedition of the American Museum to the Belgian Congo, I have had the good fortune to examine abundant material of Plagiotaenia gigantea (Peters). This interesting species, the first reported from the rhinoceros, has been confused with other cestodes from rhinoceros hosts, has been assigned to no less than three different genera in addition to the genus Taenia, to which it was originally referred, and has been the source of much discussion and difference of opinion during the past seventy years. A review of the literature on the tapeworms of rhinoceroses shows that Plagiotania gigantea is very imperfectly known, that many of the descriptions are brief and indefinite, and that the whole question of the rhinoceros cestodes is clouded in uncertainty and confusion. For that reason a more complete description of the original species is especially desirable. Such information aids materially in the elucidation of the difficult problem concerning the specificity and relationships of the rhinoceros tapeworms.
The largest cestodes in the Congo Collection were those from the white rhinoceros, Cerathotherium simum cottoni. This material consisted of several hundred specimens which agrees completely with Peters' (1856) description of Plagiotxenia gigantea from Rhinoceros africanus (Diceros bicornis) that I assign them to that species.