Pile of leech cocoons containing eggs

Pile of leech cocoons containing eggs

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Credit: GEOFF TOMPKINSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Leech cocoons. Pile of egg cocoons of the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis. Each cocoon is comprised of a protective, sponge-like material which contains as many as 20 eggs in a nutrient jelly. The young leeches are ready to leave the cocoon after about a month. The mucous cocoon is produced by the clitellum body area of an adult leech. Eggs are laid by all adult leeches, as they are hermaphrodites, having both male and female sexual organs.

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Keywords: animal, cocoon, egg cocoon, hirudinea, hirudo medicinalis, invertebrate, invertebrates, leech, medicinal, medicinal leech, nature, wildlife, zoology

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