Blood Sucking Japanese Mountain Leech

I found this leech (yama-biru) enjoying a blood meal on my foot while I was taking a break during a hike high in the mountains of central Japan. This video includes footage of the bloody wound the leech inflicted on my foot, so if you are shy of seeing blood you might not want to watch.

There are two main types of leech in Japan including the blood sucking type shown in this video as well as a much larger carnivorous variety. This latter leech is without sucking mouthparts and instead has a giant mouth which allows it to swallow prey nearly as large as the leech. Please see the video below to view this fascinating carnivore of the moist forest floor taking on a giant earthworm.

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~ by softypapa on July 16, 2007.

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