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Friday, October 12, 2007

Types of Leeches

•500 species of leeches world wide
•63 species in North America
•35 species in Ontario

•One species is the primary leech used for bait
–Bait leech or ribbon leech (Nephelopsis obscura)

•Other swimming leeches commonly caught in traps

–Tiger leech (Erpobdella punctata)
–Horse leech (Haemopsis sp)
–Medicine leech (Macrobdella decora)


Ribbon Leech
Description
•Most common
•Aquatic and active swimmer.
•Slate gray or gray brown in colour
•Body flattens to firm ribbon-like edges


Habitat

–Ponds and marshes rich in organisms.
–Shallow littoral zone.
–Feeds mainly at night.


Life History

–Reproduce in mid summer of second year.
–Develop in safety of cocoon.
–Dormant over winter
–Trappable size following spring

Feeding
–Feeds on small invertebrates.
–Predacious –jaws and muscular pharynx
–Opportunistic feeder


Horse leech

–Is used for bait
–Predator and scavenger feeder
–Greenish to dark brown
–Identified by five pair of small black eyes on top of head.


Medicine leech

–Black with reddish orange spots on back
–Reddish orange belly

2 comments:

imagna said...

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