Macroinvertebrate Key Hirudinea

Key to Macroinvertebrate Life in Ponds and Rivers in Utah

Hirudinea Order

Family Picture Description Habitat

Erpobdellidae

leeches

20-50 mm in length
Erpobdellidae have large anterior suckers and no jaws or teeth.  They are predators and typically engulf their prey.  They can have 0, 3 or 4 pairs of eyes.

10 species occur in North America, young in cocoons are attached to hard substrates

Glossiphoniidae

leeches

Anterior sucker fused to the head, protractible proboscis, no jaws, flattened bodies that are much wider than the head, 1-4 pairs of eyes

7-39 mm in length

Occurs in streams, lakes and ponds.

Hirudinidae

leeches

<10 cm, however some can grow up to 40 cm long.

Hirudinidae have 2 suckers at either end of body, have colorful patterns

Found in mostly still and slow moving warmer fresh waters, however can be found in cold, clear streams and rivers.

Piscicolidae

leeches

Anterior sucker expanded, separate from the body, small mouth pore with a protrusible proboscis, more cylindrical body than the other families, 0-2 pairs of eyes

1-2 cm in length

10 species in North America

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