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Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan


Postby ikt68 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:19 pm

On a visit to the Green Lochan in Glenmore, me and the kids counted 20 odd leeches at the waters edge all the way round. Well...we thought they were leeches but wondering if anyone more knowledgeable here can confirm?

If they are, then what on earth do they live on?!

Image

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YE1geUXed8[/youtube]
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby Derek T » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:27 pm

ikt68 wrote:If they are, then what on earth do they live on?!

The blood of witches and the infirm.
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:29 pm

Eegads ! I am undone! My top-secret Medicinal Leech Farm is discovered ! I had hoped to make a fortune on those... :(
They likely survive on deer and paddling hillwalkers....
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby ikt68 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:45 pm

My six year old daughter would have *freaked* had she went for a paddle and came out with one or more of these things attached!
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby Derek T » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:31 pm

ikt68 wrote:My six year old daughter would have *freaked* had she went for a paddle and came out with one or more of these things attached!
So would I :wtf:
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby kinley » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:41 pm

COOOOL :lol:

Looks like a leech - disappointed you didn't see if it would attach to you - that would have clinched it :lol:

Not seen any such in Scotland - will watch this thread with interest :D

Cheers 8)
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby Freewheelin » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:25 am

Yep, thems are leeches, and they've been there for a good few years. Also seen them in the River Tilt over many years (and had a couple attach a long time ago).

eeerrrgghyuch
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby fedupofuserids » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:24 pm

I think they are more common than you think. There are a couple of species native to the UK, but not all are blood suckers, some just swallow small bugs whole. If you've got a garden pond you may find some in your filters.

I've seen large underwater woodlice before in small tarns.
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby ColinBattle » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:04 pm

It's difficult to judge the scale, but these look like horse leeches, Britain's largest leech species, which can grow to over 15 cm in length. They are not particularly uncommon, and despite their size and name, they do not suck mammalian blood, instead feeding on invertebrates and decomposing flesh. Or they could be one of a number of smaller leech species, which feed on invertebrates, fish, amphibians or waterbirds.
The medicinal leech is the only species that is likely to attack humans, and this is rare and endangered, known to survive at only a couple of locations in Scotland. So if you find that a leech has actually attached itself to you, it's important to report it - it's likely to be a previously unknown population of this protected species.
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby kinley » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:05 pm

ColinBattle wrote:It's difficult to judge the scale, but these look like horse leeches, Britain's largest leech species, which can grow to over 15 cm in length. They are not particularly uncommon, and despite their size and name, they do not suck mammalian blood, instead feeding on invertebrates and decomposing flesh. Or they could be one of a number of smaller leech species, which feed on invertebrates, fish, amphibians or waterbirds.
The medicinal leech is the only species that is likely to attack humans, and this is rare and endangered, known to survive at only a couple of locations in Scotland. So if you find that a leech has actually attached itself to you, it's important to report it - it's likely to be a previously unknown population of this protected species.


Cheers - very interesting Colin :D

What should you do with the medicinal leech if you do find it attached? :shock:
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby Caberfeidh » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:11 pm

kinley wrote:What should you do with the medicinal leech if you do find it attached?


Amputation !!!!! Or failing that, a wee pinch of salt on his head will make him let go. As with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen.
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby brpro26 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:59 pm

Gone fishin for medicinal leeches..with a cauliflowered ear for bait. :lol:
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby kinley » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:50 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:
kinley wrote:What should you do with the medicinal leech if you do find it attached?


Amputation !!!!! Or failing that, a wee pinch of salt on his head will make him let go. As with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen.


I'm often sadly short of condiments when out on the hills :lol:

Picked up a few leeches in the Blue Mountains - the bites didn't half bleed when I removed them :?
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby HighlandSC » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:25 pm

Apart from the trauma of seeing freaky blood sucking monsters stuck to you, and a bloody removal perhaps, is there any other health issues related to leeches being on you?
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Re: Leeches(?) in the Green Lochan

Postby Michelle » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:01 pm

Leeches can carry bacteria, but aside from that I don't believe there is any real danger should they become attached, as long as you don't just grab them and yank them off (despite having every urge to do precisely that!). It's best to just sort of get your fingernail under under the sucker parts and pry/slide them off gently. Or (gasp!) just let them finish and drop off safely on their own. :shock:
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