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Leeches are annelids comprising the subclass Hirudinea. There are fresh water, terrestrial and marine leeches. All leech species are carnivorous. Some are predatory, feeding on a variety of invertebrates such as worms, snails, insect larvae, crustaceans, while a very few are haemophagic parasitic blood-sucking leeches, feeding on the blood of vertebrates such as amphibians, reptiles, waterfowl, fish, and mammals (including humans). The most important predators of leeches are fish, aquatic insects, crayfish and other leeches specialized for predation on leeches.


Photo Credit: 27 May 2005 . . Flammdingo . . 1278×1704 (980,650 bytes) (Description = Blutegel im Wasser |Source = Selbst fotografiert |Date = created 13. May 2005 |Author = Chris Schuster)

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