June 9, 2010
Here is a leech (I think) that I see fairly frequently at my property in “cloud forest” at 2100m on the eastern slope of the Western Cordilla in Valle De Cauca. It´s about 9cm long. Can you identify it for me?
Valle De Cauca, Colombia
We are very excited to have received your letter, because it represents the first posting to our site for a Leech. We did some research, and Leeches are actually considered to be Worms, and according to the Australian Museum website, they belong to the same class as earthworms, Clitellata. You may also find information on Wikipedia. Alas, we do not have the necessary knowledge to further classify your particular Leech.
1 thought on “Probably Land Planarian rather than Leech from Colombia”
I am not an expert on these groups, but I am as sure as I can reasonably be that this is not a leech, but a terrestrial planarian. If Pitter were to turn one over it would not show a sucker at the front end and another on the back end like a leech; it would have a smooth underside instead. There are a lot of these land flatworms in wet tropic areas and some species are quite large. They are predatory and eat other critters that live in the soil. Take a look at the Wikipedia article on the family Geoplanidae.
Susan J. Hewitt