Leech Grotto

Japanese Mountain Leeches (Haemadipsa zeylanica or yama-biru as they are called in Japanese) are found in many of the mountainous areas of Japan. The video was shot in the Japan Southern Alps near Shizuoka City on the main island of Honshu at an altitude of roughly 4000 feet. The place where I found the leeches was a soggy bit of farm road.

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 October 14, 2011.

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