The complete Taenia asiatica mitochondrial genome was amplified by long extension polymerase chain reaction (long PCR) to yield overlapping fragments that were then completely sequenced. The whole mitochondrial genome was 13703 bp long and contained 12 protein-encoding, 2 ribosomal RNA (small and large subunits), 22 transfer RNA genes and a short non-coding region. Thus, its gene contents are like those typically found in metazoan animal mitochondrial genomes (apart from the absence of atp8). All the genes were transcribed from the same strand. The 3′ end 34 bp region of nad4L overlapped with the 5′ end portion of nad4. The tRNA genes were 61–69 bp long, and the secondary structures of 18 tRNAs had typical clover-leaf shapes with paired DHU arms. However, trnC, trnS1, trnS2 and trnR had unpaired DHU arms that were 7–12 bp in length. The tRNAs that transferred serine lacked a DHU arm, as is also observed in a number of parasitic platyhelminths and metazoans. However, the trematode trnRs have paired DHU arms. The T. asiatica mtDNA non-coding region was like that in other cestodes since it was composed of a short non-coding region of 72 nucleotides and a long non-coding region of 176 nucleotides separated by a trnL1/, trnS2/, trnL2/, trnR/, nad5 gene cluster. The sequences of the cox1 genes between T. asiatica and T. saginata differ by 4·6%, while the T. asiatica cob gene differs by 4·1% and 12·9% from the cob genes of T. saginata and T. solium, respectively. In conclusion, the T. asiatica mitocondrial genome should provide a resource for comparative mitochondrial genomics and systematic studies of parasitic cestodes.