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Free images -  Leeches

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as".  

 

A leech is a type of annelid worm that belongs to the class Hirudinea.  This invertebrate is often called a bloodsucker.

Did you know...   

that just like earth worms, a leech is a hermaphrodite and that some are hematophagous?  A hermaphrodite is an animal that is both male and female.  Hematophagous means that they feed on blood.  Some types of leeches, however, feed on worms, insect larvae and other forms of animal life.  A very familiar insect that is hematophagous that you might know is a mosquito or bedbug.

If you ever swim in muddy water, you may come out of the lake with a dark brown or black worm-like leech on your body.  Legs and feet are common places to find leeches.  You may not even feel that you have been bitten by a leech, since when it does, it releases an anesthetic.  I found the one on my leg only by noticing a trail of blood running down my shin.

The old recommended method to remove a leech was to apply a flame, lit cigarette, or salt to the leech.  I applied salt and the leech released immediately and the wound continued to bleed for quite some time.  Although the old removal remedies will work, I have since read that the trauma to the leech while being removed will result in the leech regurgitating its stomach contents into the wound.  The vomit may very well carry disease and increase the risk of an infection.  I did, indeed, get a serious infection on my leg which took almost two weeks to heal.  It is now recommended that a sharp object like your fingernail, a knife blade, or credit card should be used to scrape the leech off your skin instead.

Note:  I do not profess to be giving medical advice.  
Always consult with your doctor and health practitioner for answers to medical concerns.

 

Did you also know...   

that leeches have suckers at each end of their body and live in fresh and salt water as well as on land?  

 

Large brown leech in water.

Large brown leech - 3

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Brown leech in watery sand.

Large brown leech - 1

Medium
- 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

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Child's foot beside brown leech.

Large brown leech - 2

Medium
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Sucker of brown leech.

Large brown leech - 4 Close view of sucker.

Medium
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Brown leech on wet sand.

Large brown leech - 5

Medium
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No larger image available.

 

 

Painted turtle with leech on shell.

Painted Turtle - 19 with leech attached to shell.

Medium
- 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available by email request.

 

 

Snapping turtle with leech on shell in water.

Snapping Turtle - 21 with two leeched on his shell.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 -  Now only available by email request.

 

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