Gallery Links
Users Online
· Guests Online: 8

· Members Online: 0

· Total Members: 4,870
· Newest Member: MatsDipt
Forum Threads
Theme Switcher
Switch to:
Last Seen Users
· evdb< 5 mins
· olavi< 5 mins
· BartNap00:08:52
· sbushes00:16:56
· basileus00:21:44
· JWV00:30:56
· Ben Hamers00:31:22
· RamiP00:32:38
· smol00:53:21
· JavierZgz01:04:58
Latest Photo Additions
View Thread :: Miscellaneous :: General queries
Who is here? 1 guest(s)
 Print Thread
A question about Leeches
#1 Print Post
Posted on 21-07-2009 13:26
User Avatar


Location: Miskolc, Hungary
Posts: 3555
Joined: 06.11.08

Hi, please, can anyone give me advice on examining, preparing, determining and most importantly STORING freshwater leeches? I collected some 10 species, and some faded and became rigid in alcohol. Now I put some in glycerol in the fridge until I find a better solution... Thanks in advance!
John Bratton
#2 Print Post
Posted on 25-07-2009 13:26

Location: Menai Bridge, North Wales, UK
Posts: 620
Joined: 17.10.06

In the Freshwater Biological Association key to British leeches (Elliott & Mann 1979) it says:

Temporary immobilisation of all but the largest leeches is achieved by covering them in soda water. They will be anaesthetised for about 15 minutes. Larger leeches may be immobilised with chloroform in water.

Just the right amount of relaxation is important for critical examination of leeches. If dropped alive into 70% alcohol or 4% formalin they contract too strongly. Excessive relaxation causes the furrows between annuli to disappear. A good method is to add 70% alcohol to the water containing live leeches, gradually increasing the concentration over about 30 minutes until movement ceases. The leeches are then removed, passed between the fingers to straighten them and remove excessive mucus (mmm) and then laid out and kept flat while the fixative is poured on. Alcohol or formaldehyde is suitable for simple morphological work but Bouin's or Fleming's fixative should be used for histological studies.

John Bratton
#3 Print Post
Posted on 26-07-2009 11:03
User Avatar


Location: Miskolc, Hungary
Posts: 3555
Joined: 06.11.08

Thank You, I1ll try it!
#4 Print Post
Posted on 21-08-2009 09:10
User Avatar


Location: Amsterdam, NL
Posts: 1094
Joined: 29.05.09

You may also try fixating them in 20-30% ethanol and after a while transferring them in 70% ethanol. Identifying leeches using Elliot & Mann is avoided. You better use Nesemann & Neubert (1999). Annelida, Clitellata, Branchiobdellida, Acanthobdellea, Hirudinea. Susswasserfauna vor Mitteleuropa 6/2. or look at Piscicolidae are notoriusly difficult to identify. There is a revision by Bielecki (1997), but therefore you have to do some surgery.....
Jump to Forum:
Similar Threads
Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Tachinidae question Diptera (adults) 15 03-05-2023 09:03
Tachinidae question Diptera (adults) 7 05-04-2023 12:59
Hybomitra, practical question Diptera (adults) 3 05-03-2023 14:52
identication question heleomyzidae Diptera (adults) 8 22-02-2023 12:39
A question about Trichocera regelationis wing pattern Diptera (adults) 8 26-01-2023 22:42
Date and time
04 June 2023 13:53


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Temporary email?
Due to fact this site has functionality making use of your email address, any registration using a temporary email address will be rejected.

Please, help to make
possible and enable
further improvements!
Latest Articles
Syrph the Net
Those who want to have access to the Syrph the Net database need to sign the
License Agreement -
Click to Download

Public files of Syrph the Net can be downloaded HERE

Last updated: 25.08.2011
You must login to post a message.

23.02.23 21:29
Has anyone used the Leica DM500, any comments.

27.12.22 21:10
Thanks, Jan Willem! Much appreciated. Grin

19.12.22 11:33
Thanks Paul for your work on keeping this forum available! Just made a donation via PayPal.

09.10.22 17:07
Yes, dipterologists from far abroad, please buy your copy at veldshop. Stamps will be expensive, but he, the book is unreasonably cheap Smile

07.10.22 11:55
Can any1 help out with a pdf copy of 1941 Hammer. Vidensk. Meddel. Dansk Naturhist. Foren. 105; thank you

05.10.22 19:59
Found! https://www.veldsh

05.10.22 19:53
@zeegers, your book seems difficult to get from Spain, is there another way?

08.09.22 09:29
Ladies and gentlemen https://jeugdbonds

26.08.22 15:06
Lis - This is vol.11 (eleven) and is 346 pages. Sorry, don't have a copy.

15.08.22 14:22
Hello, can any1 help out with a copy of Catalogue of Palaearctic Diptera II: Scathophagidae-Hyp
odennatidae? or at least how many pages it is? thx

Render time: 0.67 seconds | 176,099,915 unique visits