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NATURE & GASTRONOMY

 

 

 

  leech

 

Thailand

This bloodsucking, worm-like, invertebrate (fig.), is a terrestrial haematophagous leech, that lives on land. It was spotted in Khao Yai National Park (fig.).

 

Leeches have two suckers, i.e. one at each end of the body. Whereas the posterior disc-like sucker is used for locomotion, i.e. moving and erecting the body, the anterior sucker is used for adhesion to the host and feeding. Leeches have segmented bodies and belong to the phylum Annelida, which also includes ringed worms.

 

  leech

 

  leech

 

This jawed land leech with the scientific Greek-Latin name Haemadipsa zeylanica, meaning ‘Sri Lankan Blood Thirst’, is pale brownish with a darker anterior part and dark stripes and dotted lines that run along the dorsal length of its body.