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Helobdella sp. shows parenting skills

Dan Shain dshain at camden.rutgers.edu
Mon Jul 5 15:09:24 EST 2004

Dear list members,

 The parenting behaviors of Helobdella leech species described by Kutschera, 
Govedich and others are indeed intriguing....to add to the list, note that 
similar parenting behavior has been reported in species of Theromyzon - also a 
glossiphoniid leech.  In this genus, young are brooded by the parent and often 
brought to their host (the nares of waterfowl) for their first blood meal.  

 Wilkialis J and Davies RW (1980) The reproductive biology of Theromyzon 
tessulatum (Glossiphoniidae:  Hirudinoidea), with comments on Theromyzon rude. 
 J. Zool., Lond. 192, 421-429.  

Dan Shain, Rutgers University

     Dear list members,
     The leech genus Helobdella seems to be a cosmopolitan in space in time.
     Two decades ago, exactly the same behavior has been observed and
     described in Europe:
     Kutschera U., Wirtz P. 1986: A leech that feeds its young. Anim. Behav.
     34, 941-942

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