Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Cocoon from medicinal leech Hirudo verbena

  • Macroscopic Solutions
  • Digital Images
  • Online

Available online

view Cocoon from medicinal leech Hirudo verbena


Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, as long as it is not primarily intended for or directed to commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) terms and conditions
Credit: Cocoon from medicinal leech Hirudo verbena. Macroscopic Solutions. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Selected images from this work

View 1 image

About this work


Photomacrograph of a cocoon from the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana. Leeches are hermaphrodites and have both a male and a female genital organ. They lay fertilised eggs into a cocoon which nourishes and protects the eggs as they develop. Leeches are aquatic, blood sucking, segmented worms, which mainly feed on mammalian blood. In a single feed they can consume over 3 times their body weight in blood. There are several species of medicinal leech which are used in medicine today to help re-establish blood flow to skin grafts and to reattached body parts. Leech saliva contains many proteins which have anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating and anaesthetic properties. Historically leeches were used for blood letting in order to balance the humours of the body. Width of image is 2 cm.

Permanent link