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Tiger Leech

Haemadipsa picta


large terrestrial leech, 5cm, found in Borneo, common in rainforests, especially during and after rain


tropical rainforest


I spotted this leech at night and it appeared to be sleeping. I saw a few like this during the same hike. The leeches weren't so bad at Tawau hills park that I wore my leech socks everytime I went out hiking. Which meant that I did get a few bites. I've had bites on my feet, legs and mid section before but this was the first time I'd gotten bitten on my upper back, between my toes and even in the back of my head, right in my hair.

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medusasnakes123 7 years ago


dandoucette 7 years ago

Thanks for the Fun fact Karen and for the comments Mark, Leanne, pampoy, Tabris and Harsha. Leeches always seem to get a reaction out of people, even the nice looking ones! Tabris, I hear you about the smoking to help with leeches, but I'm very anti-cigarrettes and would rather treat them other ways, but thanks for the advice.

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 7 years ago

Wow! Beauty! ..if I can use the word.

Tabris Tabarsi
Tabris Tabarsi 7 years ago

An easy way to get rid of leech, smoking. Leech afraid of tobacco, I don't know why, but that's work. That's why almost every forest adventurer in Indonesia become smoker. Just spit on the leech biting you (if you are a smoker) or put some tobacco juice. They will go.

KarenL 7 years ago

Fun fact! A mature leech may not need to feed more than twice a year, and can store up to five times its own body mass of blood in its crop! Leeches attach themselves to their animal hosts with rudimentary “teeth”, actually three blades set at an angle to each other. These slice their way through skin, leaving a Y-shaped incision. The bite of some species is so strong that it can even penetrate the tough skin of a hippo! Leeches inject their hosts with an anesthetic so that they are unaware of their unwelcome hitchhikers, an anticoagulant that prevents the blood from clotting, and chemicals that prevent the blood from decaying.

LaurenZarate 7 years ago

Really yuck but fascinating.

pampoy 7 years ago

Been hiking for a long time but still i am not so getting over with leeches.

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

The only thing that puts me off wanting to be in the rainforest. Cool looking leech though Dan.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Eek! Spectacular. I think leeches don't sleep if they smell blood.

Spotted by

Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia

Spotted on Jan 26, 2014
Submitted on Apr 15, 2014

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