Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Horrible!

Good to be able to get out and about again this morning, but the wind was still blowing and quite chilly for the time of year - but at least it was dry.
As we were looking at a female Mallard with her retinue of ducklings on the lake of Manor Flood, Malcolm spotted a particularly nasty-looking creature squiggling through the grass at his feet.  It turned out to be a Leech.  More specifically, in this case I think it is a Horse Leech (Haemopis sanguisuga).
Identified by its dark greenish skin colour, it actually has no connection to Horses at all.  Indeed, it probably cant bite through mammalian skin at all.  Common around still water in Britain, they reach a frighteningly large size - up to 15cm long and feed mainly on things like snails, earthworms insect larvae, etc.  So, despite the fearsome appearance of this nightmarish creature, it was no threat to us, just a little 'yucky' to look at!
I hardly need to mention, Malcolm was not impressed...!
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