Original Research

An annotated check list of the leeches (Annelida : Hirudinea) of the Kruger National Park with a key to the species

J.H. Oosthuizen
Koedoe | Vol 34, No 2 | a421 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v34i2.421 | © 1991 J.H. Oosthuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 September 1991 | Published: 23 September 1991

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J.H. Oosthuizen, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The diagnosis, distribution and bionomics of the ten species of leeches occurring in the Kruger National Park and a key to the identification of the species are presented. Seven species belong to the family Glossiphoniidae, two to the family Hirudinidae and one species to the family Salifidae. The African fish leech Batracobdelloides tricarinatus and the reptilian parasite Placobdelloidesmultistriatus are the most common species in the park. Two of the three snail leeches occurring in the reserve, viz. Alboglossiphoniadisjuncta and Helobdella conifera, the predaceous Salifa perspicax and the sanguivorous Hirudo michaelseni are widespread but not common. The snail leech Alboglossiphonia conjugata occurs only in the small Madzaringwi River and its tributaries located in the most northern part of the park. The amphibian parasite Oosthuizobdella stuhlmanni was found only at two adjacent localities in the most southern reaches of the park with the sanguivorous Asiatic obdella buntonensis limited to the southern half of the reserve. The host-specific parasite of hippopotami, Placobdelloidesjaegerskioeldi, is restricted to habitats inhabited by its host.

Keywords

Hirudinea, leeches, identification key, Kruger National Park.

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