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My Leeches


Kissy

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I knnoooowwww you guys have just been DYING to see pictures of my leeches haha.

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Adult Erpobdella punctata

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Here are some of the containers with juvenile Ep leeches. I mainly take care of these guys.

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One of the juvenile Erpobdellas, Ep8

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Ep512, one of the breeder adults

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The main breeding tanks for the Erpobdellas

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A dish of juvenile (almost adult) Helobdella stagnalis. These are the ones that exhibit parental care toward their young. They are kind of a pain to take care of because they are so small and "sticky".

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Petri dishes full of H.s, genereations p, 1, and 2 as of right now. They breed like crazy.

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Ep512 and I <3

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And here are some photos of Montezuma's Well, the main area we do field research.

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The Well. The Indian ruins are right below the cliff I'm standing on.

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Packing up

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Becky looking for leeches

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Me in waders

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Oooh, the well is so pretty! That sounds like a fun summer job.

How are leeches 'sticky'? They ones I've felt have all been slickery...

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Both species pictured above eat bloodworms and will not suck blood. We do have some blood-suckers in the lab but they are just for fun. We feed those guys chicken and beef liver. I say "sticky" because they have suction cups on both ends and its a weird feeling when they suction on to you.

I've been working with them since march. I'm going home for a month and a half and it will be weird to not take care of them all the time. I'm starting my own project in the fall but I will probably still help Becky with her leeches anyway.

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Wow!! What a great job you have. I LOVE being among a crowd where it isn't unusual to post pictures of your leeches! :) They are fascinating. I have never touched one before. How big do the adults get? Were the adults pictured full grown?

What sort of research do you use them for?

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Wow, thats really cool! I didn't even know there were leeches that didn't suck blood :unsure: ....guess I ought to learn more about them huh lol

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The black one is full grown, and the the stagnalis usually get around 1/2" or so. In the tropics, some species get as big as your fore arm...AND suck blood ;) None of the species native to Arizona suck blood.

Haha I made that photo and Ep512 and I my facebook profile picture.

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I got a leech stuck to my foot once after walking in shallow water in a river and I dropped to the ground screaming "get it off get it off" I drew a crowd.

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Thats so cool! Looks like an awesome job :)

After a bit of rain I had a leech sucking my leg off when I was 12 (in grade 7 - primary school), it was in the middle of a reading session and I was sitting on the floor in the middle of the class, I managed to get it off and let it squirm/crawl/roll/whatever they do to the person sitting close, they totally freaked out when they couldn't get it off hehehehe. At least I knew it couldn't hurt me, it even gave me a love bite on my ankle :P

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Very cool pics!! I laughed out loud of the one of you in waders because I have to wear them for my work too, and last month I got interviewed for a local paper. I made a comment to my supervisor about "I hope they don't print of pic of me in these stupid waders" and of course....they did :P

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You lucky girl, is this your job or are you studying? Fascinating stuff I'm sure but leeches are one of those things that freak me out, I mean freak with a capital F, I go crazy if one gets on me and jump around and scream like an idiot until someone gets it off. lol

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