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March 19, 2013
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LEECHES by scythemantis LEECHES by scythemantis
I've finally, after all these years, written an article on the animals my website is named after: [link]

Here we have the three most common categories of leech:

-"Proboscis" leeches feed through a telescopic, tongue-like tube and may be bloodsuckers, predators or scavengers.

-"Pharyngeal" leeches have toothless, expandable mouths and swallow earthworms whole.

"Jawed" leeches have up to three opposing, tooth-lined, wheel-like jaws and may also be carnivores, scavengers or parasites, including the "medicinal" leech.

All forms of leech may have from zero to eighteen eyes!

Again, read the article for more, and leave a comment on it if you can! [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:icontraheripteryx:
Traheripteryx Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm instantly reminded of that one photo, where a red pharyngeal leech swallows an earthworm about its own size and it looks like a skinning chorizo! ;)
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:iconaskemberflametongue:
AskEmberFlametongue Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The worm's like "Bitch, please."
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:iconjinjuch:
Jinjuch Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2013
I love how the earthworm looks like it's saying: "Not cool, man"
I also like how the 'jawed' leech appears to be checking out the viewers.
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:iconmuura:
muura Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
Blawawwwdawwww so cute.
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:iconasya173:
asya173 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh my glob THAT PROBOSCIS LEECH.
I just want to hug it until its guts squish out.
Reply
:iconchamjari:
Chamjari Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
Your interest goes beyond insects. What's the Latinate field of study just for those who study small creatures outside of entomology?
Reply
:iconscythemantis:
scythemantis Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think some people call themselves "invertebrate zoologists," but I also love a lot of vertebrates, so I'd probably technically just be a general zoologist/biologist. That's more easy for me to get a degree in anyhow; a lot of entomologists are just zoologists who happen to focus on insects :)
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:icondelcat:
Delcat Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
D'aaaw, look at the goofy little guys.

I had a massive phobia of leeches when I was a kid (which I obviously got over), but I don't think I would have been scared of these cuties even back then. They so clearly want hugs!
Reply
:iconkingcarnagh:
kingcarnagh Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
they're all so cute!
i love all parasites, but leeches are definately among the most iconic.
i can't believe you didn't write an article on them sooner, your entire website is practically named after them! XD
Reply
:iconluckydog34:
Luckydog34 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The Jawed leechs are certainly the most wonderful leeches.
Reply
:icongalacticgoat:
GalacticGoat Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:o pretty neat. leeches are awesome... well as long as they don't start nomming on me.

Anyway love the style here, they look derpy but cute.
Reply
:iconlichard:
Lichard Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
They remind me of Larry, Curly, and Moe.

Except more adorable versions.
Reply
:iconstoffhimel:
stoffhimel Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
I love the goofy grins.
Reply
:iconheffydoodle:
HeffyDoodle Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Student Filmographer
I can hear them making ridiculous gargly noises already :D
Reply
:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
These guys are cute as all anything. I imagine them to be some kind of roving gang, like that one from the PowerPuff Girls.
Reply
:iconeb-the-gamer:
EB-the-GAMER Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If they were parasitic bloddsuckers. :D
Reply
:iconomny87:
Omny87 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
Quick question: what's the safest way to remove a leech from your skin?
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:iconscythemantis:
scythemantis Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Either letting it finish or pulling it off, really. Otherwise you would have to kill or injure it with heat or salt to make it let go.
Reply
:iconomny87:
Omny87 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
Interesting. I wonder what a leech looks like when they're full. I'm picturing some poor sap's leg covered with leeches, and they all look like slimy green water balloons.
Reply
:iconfiftyfootwhatever:
FiftyFootWhatever Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
First thing's first, don't pull it out - the jaws will probably still be attached or leave behind an open wound. Instead, try to pry the jaws off by sliding your fingernail under the mouth to break the suction and cause it to let go. Salt or insect repellent is too risky because it could cause the worm to regurgitate the blood it ingested which could lead to infection when it gets into the wound. Once you get the jaws off, gently flick it off to detach its tail. Then keep the wound clean until it heals itself.

(References: [link] [link])
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:iconprisipls:
Prisipls Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Derp faces. :iconderpplz:
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:iconcircus:
circus Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
When you say they all have from zero to eighteen eyes, do you mean that the different types of leach have different numbers of eyes, or that any leech of any sort has a completely random amount?
Reply
:iconscythemantis:
scythemantis Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Different species have a different number. I've never seen an animal with a random number of eyes, as awesome as that would be :(
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:iconcircus:
circus Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
yeah, that would be pretty awesome. :(
Reply
:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ASABDFSGSALKSLJTGSARI!!!!!!1!!?!! *incoherant babbling*
I love these like nothing else in the world! You don't know how long I've been waiting to see you draw some leeches in your trademark awesome style :D They are squishily precious beyond all belief. *takes the jawed one home so I can ride it to work every morning and terrify the postman*
And an article, my gosh! THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS SHOULD BE!
I hope you have some pics of the various mouths of the different types, since I've had horrible luck trying to find references for them. (Almost everyone seems to draw every leech with a lamprey mouth instead and I'd almost started to believe that was accurate..)
Reply
:iconscythemantis:
scythemantis Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I couldn't use the photo due to copyrights, but here's a microscopic close-up of medicinal leech jaws:
[link]

Here's a whole leech showing its jaws:
[link]
Reply
:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: Thanks dude! I knew they had to exist on the net SOMEWHERE, it's just sometimes hard to sift through all the false positive search results for something that doesn't get a lot of attention. (Seriously, I was getting "bleach mouth" before actual leeches XD Google is a terrible form of research...)
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