oa African Zoology - Gametogenesis in the leech Asiaticobdella buntonensis (Meyer, 1951) (Hirudinidae)

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The gametogenic cycle of the leech, Asiaticobdella buntonensis from two localities was investigated and found to be simultaneously hermaphroditic. Spermatogenesis reached a state of maturation before oogenesis in a cycle of summer reproductive maturation and winter quiescence comparable to related Hirudinidae. Leeches collected from the more northerly, warmer water bodies on the Makhatini Flats, were similar, although there is some evidence that their gametes matured earlier and remained in a mature condition longer than those collected from the more temperate collection site at Happy Valley Nature Reserve, Durban. An understanding of the gametogenic cycle of this potential medicinal leech under natural conditions, provides an index against which the effects of manipulating laboratory conditions on mass rearing can be inferred.

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