• 69 species in North America

• Tolerant of low dissolved oxygen



Identification Tips:

Range from 4 mm to 10 cm or more
• Muscular soft body composed of 34 segments
• Body flattened from top to bottom
• Two suckers, one on each end of body on bottom surface
• Mouth is within front sucker
• Anus is just in front of rear sucker
• Move in looping motion or swim

Life History:

• Most common in quiet water
• Avoid fine sediment bottoms
• Feed on body fluids of other animals including insect larvae, aquatic earthworms, snails, other leeches or vertebrates• .

Very SensitiveSomewhat SensitiveFacultativeSomewhat TolerantVery Tolerant

Primary Information Source:
Voshell, J. Reese. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia.