Marine leech

Calliobdella vivida

Family Piscicolidae - marine leeches

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body cylindrical, worm-like; with brownish transverse globular bands; suckers on both ends; caudal (tail end) sucker large, distinct from body, about equal to the maximum width of the body; anterior end narrower than tail end, oral sucker (anterior end) small but distinct from body by a constriction, has 2 pair of eyespots; body smooth, no branching extensions (papillae) or bumps (tubercles).
Similar Species
Can be distinguished from other marine leeches found in the Gulf of Mexico area by having no branching extensions, no warty appearance, a large caudal sucker, more than 1 pair of eyespots on oral sucker, and a distinct pattern of pigmentation.
Habitat
Gulf and bay, parasitic
Maximum Size
2.9 cm (1 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
This is a common parasite of fishes, such as flounder and croaker, and the blue crab. Occurs mainly in winter and spring months.