A series of development stages (I–XI) have been devised to describe the development of the cyst wall of the metacestode of Hymenolepis diminuta. The cyst wall possesses tegumentary, muscular, fibrous and inner cyst tissues, the developmental rates and differentiation patterns of which are not identical. The tegumentary tissue differentiates posteriorly. Its microvillus-bearing distal cytoplasm remains simple until scolex retraction, after which rapid increase in depth followed by vacuolation occurs and basal membrane infoldings surround Phase 3 fibrogenesis fibrils. Senescence, which also affects the tegumentary cytons, then ensues. The muscle system development is posteriad and maturation, completed before scolex retraction, is followed by myocyton senescence. Posteriorly differentiated fibroblasts commence Phase 1 fibrogenesis after scolex retraction and the primary fibrous zone is fully established within approximately 6 days. Phase 2 and 3 fibrogenesis develop centrifugally, the fibrils of Phase 2 surrounding the tegumentary cytons and myocytons prior to their senescence, and those of Phase 3 lying more peripherally. The inner cyst tissue, established posteriorly, differentiates anteriorly, centripetally and early, the penultimate stage commencing just before scolex retraction, about 6 days after which the final maturation junctional complexes start development. Neither in vitro excystment nor infectivity of the definitive host can be satisfactorily achieved before the initial development of the primary fibrous zone. This may play a skeletal role during excystment, and is shown to be unaffected by the digestive enzymes which cause loss of cytoplasmic integrity in the outer regions of the cyst.