CLASSIFICATION OF BRANCHELLION
PHYLUM :- ANNELIDA (Metamerically segmented, coelomate and laterally symmetrical. )
CLASS :- HIRUDINEA (Annelids with fixed segments, without parapodia and with anterior and posterior
ORDER :- RHYCHOBDELLIDA OR AGNATHOBDELLIA (Proboscis protrusible; jaws and setae absent.)
FAMILY :- PISCICOLIDAE (jawless leeches, that are parasitic on fish)
GENUS :- Branchellion
It is not reported from India.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Branchellion is a marine leech, found as parasite on torpedo.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF BRANCHELLION
- Body is small elongated, cylindrical and measuring approximately 10 cm in length.
- Animal measures about 10 cm long.
- Body is differentiated into a narrow anterior region, the neck or thorax, and a wide posterior region, the trunk or abdomen.
- Abdomen contains 11 pairs of lateral, foliaceous outgrowths of the body which form gills
- Gills are in the form of paired appendages.
- Anterior end is everted to form the proboscis.
- Suckers are prominent and pedunculate.
The animal contains 11 pairs of gills, hence it is Branchellion.