CLASSIFICATION OF HIRUDINARIA GRANULOSA
PHYLUM :- ANNELIDA (Metamerically segmented, coelomate and laterally symmetrical. )
CLASS :- CLITELLATA (having a clitellum – the ‘collar’ that forms a reproductive cocoon during part of their life cycles)
SUB-CLASS :- HIRUDINEA (Annelids with fixed segments, without parapodia and with anterior and posterior
ORDER :- ARCHYNCHOBDELLIDA OR GNATHOBDELLIDA (Proboscis non-protrusible; jaws present.)
FAMILY :- HIRUDINIDAE
GENUS :- Hirudinaria
SPECIES :- granulosa
It has cosmopolitan distribution and specially found in India and Myanmar.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Hirudinaria is found in fresh water ponds, lakes and swamps. It is a blood sucking or sanguivorous ectoparasite feeding and sucking the blood of frog, fishes and men.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF HIRUDINARIA GRANULOSA
- Commonly called as Indian cattle leech.
- Body is soft, vermiform, elongated dorsoventrally flattened, measuring 30 to 35 cm in length.
- Skin is kept moist and slimy due to abundant mucus secretion.
- Anterior and posterior suckers are well developed.
- Dorsal surface is olive green, ventral surface orange-yellow or red. Both surfaces have black stripes.
- Body is divided into cephalic, preclitellar, clitellar, middle, caudal and posterior sucker regions with 33 segments. Each segment is superficially divided into 5 annuli.
- Anterior sucker is oval and contains ventral tri-radiate mouth. It is formed by the fusion of prostomium and few anterior segments. The posterior sucker is highly muscular and acts as powerful locomotory and adhesive organ.
- Eyes 5 pairs dorsally. Segmental receptor organs are 4 pairs (dorsal) and 3 pairs (ventral). Anus is on 26th segment, nephridiopores on 6 to 22 segments ventrally, male-genital pore on mid-ventral, inter-segmental groove of 2nd and 3rd annuli of 10th segment and female-genital pore on 11th segment.
- Hermaphroditic. Genital organs are like Hirudo. Reproduction sexual. Development takes place on cocoons.
Cattles are often submerged in tanks and lakes. Several leeches attach to their body for blood sucking. It is said that a fully fed leech can live several months without blood-feed.
The leech contains 33 segments and all above features, hence it is Hirudinaria granulosa.