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Phytobdella catenifera

Phytobdella catenifera is a species of leech found in Peninsular Malaysia. The specimen was first collected from a brown tortoise in 1935. One record of the species was found in Gabai Falls, Selangor and has rarely been seen since. One reason is because it only attaches to reptiles and is of no threat to humans.

This 2-inch-long terrestrial leech was named by Professor John Percy Moore due to the striking chain-striped pattern on the creature’s back.

Recent studies on leech genetics and morphology has suggested that the genus of this species originated on the supercontinent Gondwana sometime between 500 and 200 million years ago.

Image Caption: Each individual Phytobdella catenifera has a slightly different chain-linked pattern on its back. Credit: T.W. Lim/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)

Phytobdella catenifera


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