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Sexual system of leeches

Medical leeches are hermaphrodites. The male reproductive system consists of 9 pairs of rounded seminal sacks lying metamerally in the middle part of the body. Although the seed bags are plural, this is the result of the secondary dismemberment of one pair of initially whole bags. From the seed sacks come the thin seed bearing channels, which on each side flow into the common seed wire. Seed wires go from the front, and in the anterior third of the body each of them curls into a ball - an appendage of testes. Upon exiting these coils, both seeds of the wire merge into an unpaired ejaculatory canal. The canal lies inside a muscular copulatory organ, at the end of which there is a genital opening. The copulatory organ can protrude outward from the body in the form of a tube. Even at the very beginning of the ejaculatory duct, there are still special prostatic glands.
     
     The female sexual system of leeches consists of only one pair of ovoid sacs with ovaries inside; The oviducts that depart from them merge and form a convoluted, but short uterus, passing into a wider muscular vagina. The vagina communicates with the external environment with the abdominal female genital opening, located behind the male. When copulating, the copulatory organ is inserted into the female reproductive tract. Sexual intercourse usually lasts 10-20 minutes, but in some cases it can last up to 2-3 hours. The accumulation of leeches occurs, as a rule, in water.

     Cocoon is distinguished by cutaneous glands concentrated on 9-11 segments of the body. It is in this place that leeches of fertilization are formed. Cocoons are deposited in moist soil. Eggs of medical leeches float in a cocoon in a special protein liquid, which serves as a source of nutrition for developing embryos. The protein fluid is enclosed in a special thin-walled elastic capsule of horn color. Above - a spongy shell. Developed leeches - fry - come out of the cocoon through half holes. They are already able to lead an independent way of life.


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