Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Large number of annuli in Hirudinea are not true segments, and in the absence of spacious bodycavity and septa in adult no decision was taken regarding limit of a somite, until Gratiolet 1862 recognised a segment by colour marking, repetition of nephridial openings, and especially by the presence of segmental receptors, distinguishing first annulus of a segment. Whitman 1884 gave precision to these determinations and analyzed morphology of leeches to logical completeness. He recognised that though Hirudinaria and Hirudo have 102 body annuli and posterior sucker, true segments are only 26 plus 7.Castle ('00) and Moore ('00) proposed a new scheme of segmentation, with segmental receptor bearing annulus, as central annulus of a complete somite, with nerve ganglion, like that of other annelids, in center of a segment. They orientated everything roundabout the ganglion without noticing distorted fate of organ system.In this paper both the views are compared. Morphological and embryological studies reveal that the annulus bearing the segmental receptors in uniformly first annulus of all segments, including incomplete segments at the two extremities, with nerve ganglion in first annulus of the segment.Clitellum occupies three natural segments, IX, X, XI; crop caeca, nephridia, testis sacs, haemocoelomic channels and “rhomboidal figures” formed by ventrolaterals, all make a complete unit, well integrated in such segment. Conclusive evidence comes from the presence of septa at the level of each nerve ganglion in embryos of Hirudinaria. These observations corroborate Gratiolet and Whitman's view.
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