Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Origin Of Our Leech

The origin from our medicinal leeches
Our medicinal leeches are grown up in turkey ponds and lakes in national protected areas. In these areas no humans reside. It is certified by the exporter of the leeches that those leeches did not have any human contact. The imported leeches are kept in quarantine for six months, which represents an additional measure of safety.

Reproduction of leeches
So that itself the leech reproducing can, a remaining alike water level is necessary. As to the hermaphrodites belonging worm, the leech fertilize themselves usually mutually. Fertilization takes place between April until Octobers (depending upon temperature). The leech puts its down up to 30 eggs into kokons into the damp bank earth, in order to protect it against draining. Within 6 weeks the young leech slip are at this time the approx. 16 mm long out of the eggs. For therapeutic purposes, the leech can be used only after approximately 4 years.

With optimal attitude the leech up to 20 can become years old. Attained full growth the leech a length up to 20 cm and a weight of up to 30 g.

Nutrition leech
The young leech nourishes itself of the blood of small water animals e.g. frogs, toads or fish. The fortpflanzungsfaehigkeit of the leechs improves however with the blood of warmbluetigen animals. With this blood the leech becomes in former times sex ripe. In addition the leech thereby puts also more eggs in its kokons.

Once arrived on the skin of the landlord (= victim), the leech looks for a suitable place for biting. With the front end it searches thereby gropingly for the suitable until place. The rear suction cup is fixed thereby. If not finding the correct until place yet, repeating themselves the procedure by the rear suction cup is solved and afterwards into a new position is brought. If the leech found the optimal place, he holds on with the rear suction cup in the proximity of the until place and begins themselves with his dreistrahligem Kiefer into the skin to saw. The bite is thus expressed pain-poor for comparing with an insect bite and. Until today could not be proven whether the leech thereby a locally effective anaesthetic used. During the suction process the leech separates a secretion into the wound. The blood vessels are extended by the among other things histamine-similar substance. Sucking the leechs is facilitated by the Hirudin, which he separates from his salivary glands into the wound. The Hirudin keeps the blood liquid, by preventing the blood clotting. Further existing substances have such as Calin, Hyaluronidase, Egline, Kollagenase, Apyrase, Destabilase and Piyavit a coagulating and a entzuendungshemmende effect in the secretion.

Food intake takes approx. 30 minutes. The weight of the leechs is increased by a multiple. As soon as it is full releases the leech automatically. The wound bleeds still some hours after. Thus the blutverlust is trebled doubled to. After the suction process the leech is only after one week again capable of schlaengelnden swimming movements.

The leech stores the sucked blood over months in its stomach and digests it within one period of 1.5 years. The blood is digested within one period by 5 to 18 months. However the leech is already after some months again suctionwilling.

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Anatomy from the medicinal Leech (hirudo medicinalis)

The medicinal leech (lat. hirudo medicinalis) is related as worm to the earthworm. The leech became smaller an oval cross section at the two body ends. At the two ends is in each case a suction cup. The suction cup in the back, serves the leech only for holding. The suction cup contains the mouth opening in front.

In the mouth the jaw those is appropriate for 3 approx. 80 lime denticles has. The three radially arranged jaw have approx. 80 fine lime teeth. At each suction cup is a nerve ring. The body is flattened and consists of 33 segments. The back is dark green and has at both sides ever 3 brown longitudinal strips. The leech does not possess a brain.

For surviving the leech needs a damp environment, since it would drain otherwise. In the time of sheding its skin, the leech is unpowered because of this work.

In the water the leech induces itself like a dolphin, ashore uses the leech its suction cups to progressive movement. The leech supervises the water movements in the water, to which it recognizes potential victims.

SLaid copy from Google.untuk Rujukan Diri Sendiri

Class Hirudinea

This class includes the 500 species of leeches, flattened, predacious or parasitic annelids equipped with suckers used for creeping. Leeches range in length from about 1/2 in. to 8 in. (1 cm-20 cm); most are under 2 in. (5 cm) long. They are commonly black, brown, green, or red, and may have stripes or spots. Leeches are primarily freshwater annelids, but some live in the ocean and some in moist soil or vegetation. The majority of leeches are predators on small invertebrates; most swallow their prey whole, but some suck the soft parts from their victims. Some leeches are parasites rather than predators, and suck the body fluids of their victims without killing them. The distinction is not sharp, as many predatory leeches take blood meals on occasion.

Leech Anatomy

Leeches are the only annelids with a fixed number (34) of body segments; each segment has secondary subdivisions known as annuli. A clitellum, less conspicuous than that of oligochaetes, is present; there are no parapodia. A leech has a small anterior sucker and a larger posterior one; the leech crawls by moving the anterior sucker forward, attaching it, and drawing up the posterior sucker. Most leeches can swim by rapid undulations of the body, using well-developed muscles of the body wall.

The coelom differs from that of other annelids in that it is largely filled in with tissue. Coelomic fluid is contained in a system of sinuses, which in some leeches functions as a circulatory system; there is a tendency in this group toward the loss of true blood vessels. The blood of some leeches is red. In others the blood lacks oxygen-carrying pigments and is therefore colorless; the oxygen dissolved directly in the blood is sufficient for respiration. Gas exchange occurs through the body surface of most leeches, although many fish-parasitizing leeches have gills.

The sense organs consist of sensory cells of various types, including photoreceptor cells, scattered over the body surface. There are also from 2 to 10 eyes, consisting of clusters of photoreceptor cells and located toward the front of the body.

Leech Predation and Digestion

Many leeches have a proboscis used for swallowing the prey or for sucking its fluids; others have jaws for biting. Many parasitic leeches are able to parasitize a wide variety of hosts. Most of the marine and some of the freshwater leeches are fish parasites. The medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, is one of a group of aquatic bloodsucking leeches with jaws. Another group of jawed bloodsuckers is terrestrial; these leeches live in damp tropical vegetation and drop onto their mammalian prey. Most parasitic leeches attach to the host only while feeding; a single meal may be 5 or 10 times the weight of the leech and provide it with food for several months. The digestive tract of bloodsuckers produces an anticoagulant, hirudin, which keeps the engorged blood from clotting. A few leeches attach permanently to the host, leaving only to reproduce. Predatory leeches are active at night and hide by day.

Leech Reproduction

Like the oligochaetes, leeches are hermaphroditic and cross-fertilizing, although fertilization is internal. In some species the sperm are enclosed in sacs, called spermatophores, that are attached to the outside of the partner; the sperm pass through the body wall to the ovaries, where the eggs are fertilized. In other species the sperm are not enclosed and are transferred directly into the body of the partner by copulation. A courtship display is seen among some leeches at the time of mating. The fertilized eggs are deposited in a cocoon, secreted by the clitellum; the cocoon is buried in mud or affixed to submerged objects. The young emerge as small copies of the adults.


See R. O. Brinkhurst and B. G. Jamieson, Aquatic Oligochaeta of the World (1972); K. Fauchald, The Polychaete Worms (1977); R. W. Pennak, Fresh-water Invertebrates of the United States (3d ed. 1989).

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Many leeches swim through the water with snakelike motions. They release their grip with the tail sucker and push off from a rock or plant, before wriggling their body back and forth. Species living on land move along the ground like an inchworm, stretching and shortening their bodies by using the suckers on both ends.

Leeches must mate to reproduce. Mating occurs when a leech attaches a sperm packet in the body of its mate. Some species have corresponding male and female organs that allow the placement of sperm directly into their mate's female reproductive organs. Fertilization (FUR-teh-lih-ZAY-shun) occurs inside the female's body. As the cocoon passes over the female reproductive organs, the developing eggs, or embryos (EHM-bree-ohz), are deposited inside.

The cocoons are either left in the soil, or attached to the bodies of other animals. Young leeches resemble the adult when they hatch. Fish leeches attach their egg cases to the bodies of crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns), or water-dwelling animals with soft bodies covered by hard shells, such as shrimp or lobster. When fishes eat infested crustaceans, the young leeches attach themselves inside the fishes' mouth cavity. Some leeches carry their eggs in a clear sack under their body. When the adult finds a host, like a turtle or frog, the young hatch and also attach themselves to the host.