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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Help identifying a leech or possible worm


I am trying to find out what bit my foot last summer during the rainy season in the Phu Quoc island in Vietnam.
I dont know if this creature had been attached to my foot for a long time or it just took a bite and let go.
The size of it is just about 5 cetimeters long.
We showed this picture to a waitor at the hotel and asked if it was dangerous. He said yes.. (I dont think he understood English very well.)

Best regards,
Jorn Flogstad

Hey Jorn!

This is most definitely a leech! The leech looks like it may be a terrestrial leech species.
Quick summary.. "Leeches are segmented worms that belong to the phylum Annelida and comprise the subclass Hirudinea. Like other oligochaetes, such as earthworms, leeches share a clitellum and are hermaphrodites. Nevertheless, they differ from other oligochaetes in significant ways. For example, leeches do not have bristles and the external segmentation of their bodies does not correspond with the internal segmentation of their organs. Their bodies are much more solid as the spaces in their coelom are dense with connective tissues. They also have two suckers, one at each end.
The majority of leeches live in freshwater environments, while some species can be found in terrestrial and marine environments, as well. Most leeches are hematophagous, as they are predominantly blood suckers that feed on blood from vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Almost 700 species of leeches are currently recognized, of which some 100 are marine, 90 terrestrial and the remainder freshwater taxa"

The good news is that leeches are for the most part harmless. They may feed on you but they can't harm you any further. Leeches are even used it medicine to remove fluid from tissue.
Hope this helps!!
Thank you for the great picture and question!

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Christopher A Rice


I can identify and provide clear information on all insects, any of the following: Ants, Aphids, Bagworms, Bats, Bees, Beetles, Birds, Black widow spiders, Brown recluse spiders, Carpenter Bees, Carpet Beetles, Centipedes, Chipmunks, Cicada Killers, Cloth Moths, Cluster Flies, Cutworms, Deer, Drain Flies, Earwigs, Fleas, Flies, Fruit Flies, Gnats, Grasshoppers, Ground Hogs, Grubs, Japanese Beetles, Lice, Lizards, Mice, Midges, Millipedes, Moles, Mosquitoes, Noseeums, Opossums, Pantry Beetles, Pantry Moths, Pantry Pests, Pill Bugs, Rabbits, Raccoons, Rats, Roaches, Scorpions, Silverfish, Skunks, Snakes, Snails, Slugs, Sod webworms, Spiders, Sprintails, Squrriels, Termites, Thrips, Ticks, Turtles, Voles, Weeds, Weevils, White Flies, White grubs and many more..


I have over 10 years in Animal Identification, Wild Life Diseases, and MED VET Entomology

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BS in Biology, minor in chemistry at Valdosta State University

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