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Leech

2011- Top 10

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(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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