Tiny killers: Leeches

By: Jamiya Lewis

Picture of leeches

Where do leeches live?

Ponds ,Majority live in fresh water, rivers, swamps, and lakes

How does it feed?

Suck blood from its host

How does it reproduce?

Leeches are hermaphrodites meaning that a single individual is both male and female at the same time. Reproduction occurs through the production of cocoons

What ate the host of leeches?

Animals and humans!

Special adaptations of a leech

Leeches Adaptability: Unlike other annelids, leeches can tolerate very low percentage of oxygen. Some types of leeches are known to survive even when they are exposed to concentrated chemical pollutants. Another interesting leeches fact is that they can live even after losing nine-tenths of their total body weight.

What is the AVERAGE size of a leech

The largest leech recorded till date measures about 16 inch in length. On an average, the size of leeches is between 7 - 80 mm.

Other interesting facts about the tiny killer!

  • Leech bite is painless, which is due to the anesthetic present in the saliva secretion of leeches.
  • Leeches have the ability to feed in large amounts (about 5 times their body weight) and store nutrients for future use.
  • Many leech species can survive for about one year after having a blood meal. They use the preserve food for survival.
  • Some species (e.g., hirudo) lays their young ones in cocoons, while others (e.g., Amazon leech) keep their babies (as many as 300) in the stomach.