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Leech

The general morphology of leeches

  Fully mature adults can be up to 20 cm in length, and are green, brown, or greenish-brown with a darker tone on the dorsal side and a lighter ventral side. The dorsal side also has a thin red stripe. These organisms have two suckers, one at each end, called the anterior and posterior suckers. The posterior is used mainly for leverage, whereas the anterior sucker, consisting of the jaw and teeth, is where the feeding takes place. Leeches have three jaws (tripartite) that resemble saws, on which are approximately 100 sharp edges used to incise the host. The incision leaves a mark that is an inverted Y inside of a circle. After piercing the skin, they suck out blood whilst injecting anticoagulants (commonly known as a blood thinner). Large adults can consume up to ten times their body weight in a single meal, with 5–15 mL being the average volume taken. These leeches can live for up to a year between feeding.   Leeches are hermaphrodites that reproduce by sexual mating, laying eggs in clutches of up to 50 near (but not under) water, and in shaded, humid places.    

Medical usage

  See Medicinal Leeches

Basic Information

Genetics and Reproduction

Leeches are hermaphrodites that reproduce by sexual mating, laying eggs in clutches of up to 50 near (but not under) water, and in shaded, humid places.

Ecology and Habitats

Their range extends over almost the whole of Central Kelldoria, Zamoria, and beyond the Eastern Frontier. The preferred habitat for this species is Found in marshland, Shallow Rivers, and freshwater Pools or Forest Lakes containing plentiful weed growth in temperate climates.

Dietary Needs and Habits

In their natural habitat leeches will feed on frogs, reptiles, and any wild animal or humanoid within their domain.   In rural farmsteads, horses and cattle are a leeches preferred food source, if they manage to get into the water supply or into the animal's water troughs.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Used for Medicinal purposes (Blood-Letting).
Leech by nymag
Lifespan
5 to 8 years (Averaging 6 years)
Average Weight
1 to 10 grams (Averaging 5 grams)
Average Length
Fully mature adults can be up to 20 cm in length
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Leeches are green, brown, or greenish-brown with a darker tone on the dorsal side and a lighter ventral side. The dorsal side also has a thin red stripe.
The Mouth of a Leech by pinterest

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Cover image: Leech by nymag

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