species random images

Top 10 - 2011

Leech

(Images courtesy of PLoS ONE)

Name:  Tyrannobdella rex

Common Name:  None

Family:  Praobdellidae

How it made the Top 10:  This T. rex leech was discovered feeding from the nasal mucous membrane of a little girl in Perú. It is unusual because it is the only known species of leech with a “single armed jaw with such large teeth.”

Reference:  Phillips, A.J., R. Arauco-Brown, A. Oceguera-Figueroa, G.P. Gomez, M. Beltran, Y.-T. Lai and M.E. Siddall. 2010. Tyrannobdella rex n. gen. n. sp. and the evolutionary origins of mucosal leech infestations. PLoS ONE 5(4):e10057.

Type Material:  Holotype – Museum of Natural History of San Marcos University (MUSM), Lima, Perú. Paratypes – MUSM and Peruvian Health Institute, Lima, Perú.

Type Locality:  Perú, Chanchamayo Province, Chanchamayo Province, La Merced.

Etymology:  Tyrannobdella: tyrannos (G.) – ‘‘tyrant’’ + bdella (G.) – ‘‘leech’’; rex: rex (G.) – ‘‘king’’.

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