This is the main wiki page for leeches of the genus Hirudo. Hirudo species include Hirudo medicinalis, Hirudo verbana<ref>Until recently, most researchers did not distinguish between H. medicinalis and H. verbana because these species are very similar. See: Siddall ME, Trontelj P, Utevsky SY, Nkamany M, Macdonald KS (2007): Diverse molecular data demonstrate that commercially available medicinal leeches are not Hirudo medicinalis. Proc Biol Sci. 274(1617), 1481-7. PMID: </ref>, and Hirudo orientalis <ref>Utevsky SY, Trontelj P, 2005. A new species of the medicinal leech (Oligochaeta, Hirudinida, Hirudo) from Transcaucasia and an identification key for the genus Hirudo, Parasitol Res. 98(1), 61-6. PMID: </ref>.
This wiki is still under development, so it does not have many entries yet. If you would like to contribute to it, please register at NeuronBank.org.
A discussion of the Hirudo ontology has just been initiated by members of the leech community.
Leech nervous system
- Leeches have 21 segmental mid-body ganglia plus head and tail ganglia located in a ventral nerve cord.
- The head and tail ganglia consist of fused ganglia.
- Ganglia in segments 5 and 6 have neurons involved in reproductive function because that's where the sex organs are located. So these ganglia have additional neurons.
- The nerve cord is located within the ventral blood sinus.
- There are two nerve roots that leave each ganglion and connect to the body wall.
- Neurons are individually identified by soma location and by physiological properties.
- There are 6 glial packets that surround the cell bodies of the neurons in the ganglia.
Here is a list of identified neurons in the leech nervous system. If you would like to add a neuron, please copy the format from the Leech Neuron Template.
A list of identified neurons is also available on Otto Friesen's website .